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. HotDJDave

    The official term is ILLEGAL ALIEN. This is the only legal term. There is no legal use for the term undocumented immigrant...but of course, CNN won't use the legal term ILLEGAL ALIEN.

    May 1, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  2. Rick

    Every employer in America should use E_VERIFY. This would get away from any claims of racial profiling and make the job easier for law enforcement. We then would be solving an unemployment problem, have masses that are receiving services we pay for and illegal immigrants don't. E-Verify could be the solution to many of the problems each and every state has. USE IT.

    May 1, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  3. Joseph

    Sort of silly to call smugglers and gangs "immigrants." They are illegally crossing the border, regardless of their citizenship status or intent. This constant disregard of our law has brought all kinds of violence and drugs across the border. And this is what states like Arizona are fighting. The word "immigrant" distorts the public debate, as few illegal border crossers intend to stay in the US.

    There is a mechanism for those who wish to live here legally. If there is a flaw with our procedures for accepting new citizens or visitors, that should be addressed. But sneaking across the border is rarely done for good reason.

    May 1, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. LA Guy

    Are you guys kidding? Deputy shot by alleged UNDOCUMENTED immigrants?" That is like saying "U.S. soldier in Iraq shot by alleged UNDOCUMENTED soldiers."

    May 1, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mike

    Viva La Raza Blanco!

    May 1, 2010 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Farmer Doug

    I live next to I-8 by where this happened and see illegals all the time. The BP does the best it can with a catch and release agenda. For those that don't live here, we have three groups; the ciminals, the ones actually looking for work, and the ones looking for the free benefits. The third group is the largest by far. For many years, Arizonians have had to pay for the free food, health care, housing, etc that this group wants. They are sucking the state taxpayer dry. They have stolen identities to appear legal and the system has no way to stop it. They only way to try and stop some of it is the new law. It may not be perfect, but at least it's a start. It certainly got the rest of the country talking...
    The first group is the one you hear about though...drugs, guns, and no respect for life. I don't like wearing a gun when I'm out on my farm, but after what happened to the rancher in Douglas, I do anyway. As far as I'm concerned, it's open season on those idiots.

    What makes me the most mad is that Washington knows there's a problem and refuses to do anything except grant amnisty which just makes the problems worse. The rest of the nation needs to wake up and understand that these illegal tresspassers are costing the entire nation not just Arizona.

    Wake up people .. they'll be in your backyard next, watch...

    May 1, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  7. USA1

    These illegals are lucky this officer didn't die. Americans are worked up now, just will take ACTION!

    May 1, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Topacpopac

    May God bless the State of Arizona and it's brave law makers to actually take some steps to protect it's LEGAL CITIZENS.. NO matter what part of the world they may have legally immigrated from. I live in California and I think the spineless bastard in Sacramento should be send back to whatever corner of HELL he came from. I am a Republican and voted for that IDIOT because he claimed he would be tough on ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION and support the minute men. Now, he says: "California would NEVER pass a law like Arizona." Of course not!! As long as there are cowards running the State, what can we expect. Who can great States like Arizona count on for protection against ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS but the State law makers? The Federal government? I think not since the individual occupying the White House's citizenship is questionable itself. What is wrong with these no brain idiotic liberals? Is it OK for law enforcement personnel to be murdered when they are trying to protect innocent people? How many more citizens of Arizona need to be kidnapped and killed before enough is enough? I think all these wastes of space who demand rights which they have not earned and their suppoter should be thrown over the Arizona boarder right back to Mexico.

    Hats off to Arizona law makers. May you stay strong in your resolve to stop this maddness and not give in to pressure from people who have NO right to be here. The US constitution is meant to protect AMERICANS... Not illegal criminals who invade our great land. God Bless Arizona, the State's law makers and law enforcement officers across what used to be the GEATEST NATION on earth.

    May 1, 2010 at 11:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. tony elvir

    You will get to
    HELL before the ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT get there

    May 2, 2010 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  10. lonely guy

    So does this mean 1 point for the AK-47?? And -10 points for the XM-15 ??

    May 2, 2010 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  11. Tom Swartz

    Does it matter if they're illeagel or migrant? We have 27% unemployment here in Florida. We don't need any guest workers here.. So sick of politicians pandering to non-Americans.

    May 2, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. USA1

    Solution to illegal aliens –
    1. Seal the borders with the National Guard.
    2. Mandatory use of E-Verify (Large fines for employers that are found to hire illegals)
    3. Inspect everyone for citizenship. (Everyone so no racism – No Race Card)
    4. Deport all illegals. (Finger print for future felony charge for returning)
    5. Ensure the job openings are given to the 10 million unemployed legal American citizens at a fair wage.
    6. Vote out those in congress and the white house that have committed this treason.
    7. Return legal immigration to 1965 level
    8. Stop the H1B, etc and employ legal Americans citizens.
    9. Pass the ' Birthright Citizenship Act of 2009 ' denying citizenship to babies of illegal’s in this country. (Copy Canada law)
    10. Review all immigration records from last 10 years and deport those that have committed crime.

    May 2, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
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