April 30th, 2010
09:05 PM ET

Authorities: Ariz. deputy shot by suspected drug traffickers

[Updated at 11:00 p.m.] A sheriff's deputy in central Arizona was shot Friday afternoon by a suspected drug trafficker, authorities said.

The Pinal County deputy, who was not immediately identified, contacted authorities after being wounded in the desert, saying he had been shot by an illegal immigrant with an AK-47, said Lt. Tammy Villar, a sheriff's spokeswoman.

[Posted at 9:05 p.m.] A sheriff's deputy in central Arizona who was shot Friday afternoon by an alleged illegal immigrant has been found after authorities lost contact with him, according to CNN affiliate KPNX.

The report came from a KPNX reporter on board a chopper at the scene.

[Posted at 8:41 p.m.] A sheriff's deputy in central Arizona was shot Friday afternoon by a member of an alleged group of illegal immigrants, authorities said.

The Pinal County deputy, who was not immediately identified, contacted authorities after being wounded in a remote area, said Lt. Tammy Villar, a sheriff's spokeswoman. She said authorities believe he was shot with a AK-47. The deputy was being treated for the wound, but his condition was not immediately known, Villar said.

Pinal County is located between Phoenix and Tuscon and has been described as a key transit point for illegal immigrants. Sheriff Paul Babeu told CNN that an estimated 80 percent of illegal immigrants eventually pass through his county along the way to other locations.

Deputies in the department routinely patrol for illegal immigrants and smugglers, and it's not uncommon for them to be in the field alone, officials said.

It was not immediately clear what led the deputy to engage with the group on Friday.

- CNN's Casey Wian contributed to this report.

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  1. pippi

    If they kick out all the illegal mexicans, who will the fat ugly white girls date?

    April 30, 2010 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  2. EastCoastLibra

    Immigration Law is based on legality of entering not trespassing and invasion.

    April 30, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kevin

    To all of you that want to blame Arizona for this...

    Are they drug traffickers or are they illegals.

    Does creating this law make drug traffickers want to shoot US officers?

    Your arguments are like swiss cheese.

    Just admit the facts. There is a border problem. We need to do something about it. And we can't let everyone in Mexico move to the US.

    April 30, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. john

    "John, John, John,

    If you are the fabric of this country, I don't know why anyone would want to come here for refuge. You know your statement was ignorant so there's no need to even say anything ignorant back. I'm ashamed to be lumped into any category with you."

    Ignorant yes. Wrong ? No. Nothing I said was wrong. Slavery? Could have enslaved Turkish people and got the same result [picking cotton is not hard]. Yes thats ignorant, but also true. Building the railroads ? Anyone could do that aswell. Founding an entire new nation and one that is successful ? Not any ethnic group could do that. Black people in Haiti were the second nation to be independant in the west...And look at that country. The list of failures is LONG. Chock it up to culture Idc, but white culture if you want to look at it that way is successful and yet is demonized by so many today. Its popular to side with the losers, including illegals these days...Again just the truth. And yes the truth hurts, even if it is ignorant.

    April 30, 2010 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kevin

    To all you liberals out there, how is it the illegal immigrants are the victims. Isn't the shot officer a victim? Don't you have any empathy for the US citizen that got shot?

    April 30, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Gimmie a break

    #275 Did you skip the part where I said "It's border violence, which is a huge problem both for Mexico and the US?" I guess you did. I'm just saying the original story, which has changed since it was first posted, targeted illegal immigrants. Is there a need to call drug trafficking "illegal?" When is the trafficking of anything legal? I don't care what it is. Drugs, humans, what have you. When is that ever NOT a problem? Most of the debate on here is about illegal /undocumented workers. I just want the story to be correct is all. Which it wasn't, which I said from the beginning when it was first posted. Beefing up border security is naturally one way to combat both the issue of drug trafficking and illegal immigration. Don't be smug.

    April 30, 2010 at 11:41 pm | Report abuse |
  7. shut up

    racist mexicans!

    April 30, 2010 at 11:45 pm | Report abuse |
  8. moomin

    I live in Pima County, right next to Pinal Country. I know the area, it is desolate, dangerous, and drug smugglers (who also smuggle human cargo, often at the same time) travel through it on their way to California. Living in Arizona near the Mexican border is not like living on the Vermont/New Hampshire border. Here it is a war-zone. I support legalization of all domestic and agricultural immigrants, but these AK-47 armed persons are a danger for everyone. Millions of dollars are at stake every time they make a human/drug shipment, and they will shoot you if you hinder them. Somebody help us!

    April 30, 2010 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gimmie a break

    John, so you just chimed in to prove you're a bigot? Congrats, we believe you. But now what? What's your point? What does your argument add to the debate? Nothing. You think white people are being demonized? Sorry you feel that way. Even the most obvious left or right people here have a point to argue. You just ran through the room flailing your arms and yelling.

    April 30, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Kevin

    281, Yes you did mention border violence, but you seemed to be focused on making sure we don't blame illegal immigrants. Or I read into your views on changing the title too much.

    My point is that people on the board are too worried about semantics and details. Is it an illegal immigrant or a drug trafficker.

    It really doesn't matter if this person is English, Jewish, Latino, or whatever. I would wager that a significant portion of the population roaming near the US border in the Arizona dessert is not their for law abiding reasons.

    The country needs to accept the fact that illegal border crossings for any reason is a problem and it needs to be stopped and we need to address the reasons why people want to cross the border illegally as well. This needs to be a multi-faceted approach that sticks to our laws of immigration, yet understands the human needs and issues involved and offers solutions to those issues as well.

    I am actually kind of surprised that we are not seeing more terrorist threats coming through the southern border as well. I am not an expert on our borders, but it seems it is not that difficult to pass through the US, Mexican border. I would wager crossing into Montana is probably pretty trivial as well though...

    April 30, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ocean animal

    NO MORE OIL! NO MORE OIL! NO MORE OIL! NO MORE OIL! NO MORE OIL!

    April 30, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Gimmie a break

    #285 Touche.

    May 1, 2010 at 12:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. Shar

    Gimmie a break you are a moron! Border violence here is associated with either trafficking drugs or trafficking people. Trafficking people is illegal immigration! What part of that are you unable to wrap your tiny little brain around? And if you look at the research in my #262 post you will see that 2% of the illegals deported in this country are sex criminals and have an average of 4 victims per perpetrator with 960,000 sexual assaults and murders committed by these illegal immigrants. According to that research there are 240,000 illegal immigrant sex offenders in this country and that is based on an estimated 12,000,000 illegal immigrants. That figure has doubled in the last 4 years since that study. So let me ask you this would you rather keep all the illegal immigrants in this country including the now 500,000 sex offenders and let them rape and murder another 2,000,000 times or just give everyone the boot and save their innocent victims.

    May 1, 2010 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  14. madisyn

    How about the Deputy Sheriff and his family? Wasn't he out doing his JOB – whether he supported the bill 1070 or not!! Wasn't he the victim?? I am so tired of hearing about the illegal immigrants as victims! Enough already! I agree with 290 – Apply for citizenship legally – oh and if that doesn't work because you've been caught before by the border patrol and now have a history of felony charges, than so be it – you don't get to become a citizen. But if you want to, then contribute and pay taxes, fund our healthcare system, etc. The people who are here illegally – don't need to be here.

    May 1, 2010 at 12:19 am | Report abuse |
  15. Gimmie a break

    Once again Shar...don't put words in my mouth please. Not once did I say none of this was a problem. Not once. I said trafficking of all sorts is a problem and obviously illegal. Keep your hypotheticals to yourself please. I haven't relinquished anyone of fault or placed blame on anyone with my words. I simply called for a fair debate. Which was impossible based on the original content of the article. What can't YOU wrap YOUR tiny little brain around? Thanks for the stats though. I'll be sure to double check my locks tonight.

    May 1, 2010 at 12:28 am | Report abuse |
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