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. Concerned in CT

    President Obama, please stop illegal immigrants from working in this country.

    All of the unemployed teenagers and college students would love a summer job that paid $12 to $15 per hour doing landscaping, dishwashing, etc. Think of all of the innercity kids who can't find a summer job because the jobs have been taken by illegal immigrants.

    Also, anyone with only a high school education has to compete with illegal immigrants for jobs. This isn't fair. The biggest reason why people with only a high school education can't earn a decent living is because the wages for jobs they are qualified for are artificially held low because illegal immigrants are willing to take them for lower than a livable wage for someone trying to support a family in this country.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jeff

    I say it was one of those renegade/militia border patrol people. I don't think most illegals cross the border with AK-47s.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Saul

    it's a sad day when a deputy gets shot by an illegal trying to come to America and live off everyone else money, i applaud the governor of AZ since Obama and the feds wouldn't take care of the problem!

    April 30, 2010 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. california

    Hence the reason Arizona needed this law.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. cmkc

    Drives the point home that the AZ law needs to be implemented......in all 50 states.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Good Shot!

    Hola Latinos! Take back your country by bullet or by ballot!!!

    April 30, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  7. David Templeton

    Immigration is a "legal" process. Therefore there is no such thing as an illegal immigrant but their are people in the country illegally. Let call illegals what they are illegal law breakers.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Wade

    The dangers of the internet are that people like you are now given a voice, however uneducated. The whole immigration issue is a complex one, hence the difficulty in arriving at an acceptable solution. But, let one conservative, or liberal, see a story that suits there purpose, and they'll dummy it right down to serve their point of view. The fact is, none of you are qualified to make an educated opinion. Neither am I, but at least I'm honest about it. */moment of clarity off* Go about your undeducated lives thinking you're making a difference.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kathy belote

    get your facts right – deputy was shot by illegal alien – an immigrant is someone who comes to another country LEGALLY

    April 30, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AGuest9

    "The timing on this is just a little too convenient."?

    Yep, p!55 off the illegals, and see what you get!!!
    BUILD THE WALL!!!!

    April 30, 2010 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Leprakan

    I'm sure I'm going to get blasted, but how did they determine that the shooter was illegal. Call me crazy but unless the shooter was apprehended do we know anything about the shooter???? Call me what you may but this is nothing but a pot stirring attempt.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  12. fred

    More likely drug runners or coyotes. Let's tone down the rhetoric on both sides and just hope this deputy gets home to his family.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  13. california

    People on here all for shooting sheriffs apparently love anarchy.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. k ferr

    they think they can come in here, break our laws and shoot us when we try to stop them. they already ruined their own country's security and safety, they are not going to to the same to ours, here, if you break laws, you go to jail

    April 30, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Clinton

    Maybe Mexicans in Mexico should stop populating if they cannot sustain themselves in their own country...........I DON'T HAVE KIDS........CAUSE I KNOW I COULDN'T AFFORD THEM RIGHT NOW! Why can't Mexicans have that same mentality? Instead, they come here illegally and use our food stamp system, with no documentation needed here in california, I might add!!! NOT TO MENTION "FREE" HEALTH CARE AND AID!!!

    April 30, 2010 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
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