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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soundoff (335 Responses)
  1. Scott Trent

    All 49 other States need to mirror Arizona on their illegal immigrant law! Do it NOW!

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

    I hope the officer is OK. Now they have their reason to stop everyone in the most travelled corridor to demand proof of citizenship. Angry local PD and angry immigrants eqauls a recipe for a riot brewing. Timing is a little suspicious.

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

    The video earlier kept repeating the phrase "illegal immigrants drug smugglers" as if the 2 are one and the same. Sure drug smugglers are in the country illegally but they aren't the same as someone who just wants to work hard. What a disgusting piece of propaganda that video was and this article is.

    This is the most inflamatory piece of "journalism" I have ever seen. Be scared now of the illegal immigrants who pick your vegetalbes and look after your kids and do your gardening – they all packin' AK 47s now and ain't afeared to use them on hard working white folks!

    April 30, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Pepper

    I can't help but wonder why these shooters are called immigrants when immigration law describes as Illegal Aliens.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. california

    All this incident does is prove (YET AGAIN) why Arizona needed this new law.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    "A AK-47"?? How about an AK-47!

    April 30, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Newsconsumer

    Thoughts and well wishes to the officer. I hope he recovers fully and quickly.

    I have no problem with people from other country coming to our great land. BUT...they can go through THE PROPER CHANNELS!! Why do these people (illegal immigrants coming in along the Mexican border) think they are so much better than other people who come here from other countries, but who go through the proper legal channels? I have six friends - two from Germany, one from Italy, one from Spain,and two from Canada–who all came to the U.S., and all of whom spent the time and money necessary to become LEGAL citizens–and to learn our language. Each one of them told me that the reason they became citizens by going through LEGAL channels was because they respected our country too much to try to go undocumented.

    Arizona had the right idea with it's law. I'm a Democrat, but I am by no means a bleeding heart liberal like so many. First and foremost, I am for what is best to protect the people of my country. When did that become so wrong?

    April 30, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Conspiracy Theory

    @ Scarlette,

    The timing is fairly irrelevant. One of the reasons the immigrant law is being enforced by the state of Arizona is this type of activity; shootings, muggings, high speed chases, murder and gunfire occur on almost a nightly basis. Obviously, this incident, and the hubub about the law change have FINALLY brought this to your attention. Sorry to have awakened you, you can go back to sleep now...

    April 30, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bill

    This isn't about illegals wanting to cross over to mow my yard, it's about a border
    that needs to be closed and our citizens protected from this BS once and for all.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. california

    Sounds like La Raza (The race, could you get more racist with a name like that?) wants a war.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  11. SFTitan

    @Good shot! - you are the reason we need to get rid of your kind. You POS!

    April 30, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  12. azteacher

    Come on people...it happened in the middle of the desert. Who runs around in the middle of the desert except for illegal immigrants? This deputy was out doing his job and got shot in the stomach by a group of illegals...so far from civilization that it took authorities over 90 minutes to find him and have him flown out of the area on a helicopter. Again, I ask you, who else would be out in the middle of the desert...that far from civilization...other than a group of illegal immigrants? If you don't live around here, you couldn't possibly understand what a negative impact illegal immigration has on our lives. It isn't safe around here any more. People are dying because of illegal immigrants.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jose

    waaah waaaaaaahhhh. the truth is white people who are for this bill really hate brown people and thats why they are in favor of this ANTI-IMMIGRANT ANTI LATINO bill.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. EastCoastLibra

    UN F'N BELIEVABLE! This is what Arizona been putting up with for years. And the likes of Hispanic Caucus, Washington DC, superficial Celebrities in their Ivory Tower keep defending Illegals. Since when are LEGAL IMMIGRANTS LOST THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS over to ILLEGAL ALIENS??????????

    April 30, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
  15. california

    The bill just proves why the law was needed.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse |
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