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. Saul

    If the hispanics want to complain about this new law they can blame all the illegals who ruined it for them who came to our contry to abuse our system and take advantage of our govt's kindness and hopefully this law will send a message to illegals to think twice about coming to the USA

    April 30, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bill

    Myself and a lot of Californians support the AZ immigration law. Don't let the media sway your stance. The idiots from California that want to protest and stop doing business in AZ are morons. Go AZ and pass the ammunition!!!

    April 30, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  3. john

    all you negativne/nieve people are FN stupid...illegals or drug lords? big difference. while we are at it...get all the non-us citinzens out of our arm forces stationed overseas like Afghan and iraq and lets see what we are left with. you so called ameircans aint got the balls to join or let your kids join. i was born in the US when my parents were illegals but are citizans now but let say they werent. i bet you would still let me join the servise and die for this country. you will let us build half this country for cheap labor and not complain. half of you folks in AZ go to homedepot and hire for cheap labor. you dont complain then. lets not put illegals and the drug lords in same sentence. for all you racist, pro white america...come join me overseas for the 5th time while i spend more time defending this country and missing my dauther grow up. believe me there is a lot us in this situation.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. piro

    what about when the white man came and killed the native americans to take their land? this just might be karma.

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

    On you tube we have Illegals Threatening To Murder Americans With Axes and Shovels.

    youtube DOT com/watch?v=mDlutO0KK7g

    April 30, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. joe martin

    This would seem to be more likely a 'coyote' doing the shooting at the lawmen. The average illegal immigrants don't do this. The 'coyotes' of the coyote networks have an investment at stake with their human smuggling, and are also trying to avoid arrest and prosecution.
    The bottom line is: illegal immigration costs lives, sooner or later, and has bankrupted The U.S..

    April 30, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. badfrog

    Vehicle mounted 50 cal machine guns...free fire zone on anything within 500 yards of the border...should slow them down.... BUT, if you want them stopped, put a $10.oo bounty on each one...$25.oo dead

    April 30, 2010 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joe

    Let get this AZ law in all 50! Then they will have no place to hide!

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

    Look at #99 all riled up, I guess it is working, congratulations CNN.

    Side Note: Anyone with "patriot" in their nickname or signature is always an ignorant redneck idiot bent on violence just like #99. Long held theory, proved once again.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. salas head

    I am of Mexican decent. I was born in California, and I am for the law in Arizona. I don't have a problem w/ immigrants just the ones that are here illegally. Get them out anyway you can. I am a veteran of two foreign wars and a tax paying citizen and I DON'T want to pay for their needs. If they want to become a citizen join the Military and go to war, come back and I will accept you w/ open arms into this country. If not get the F out!

    April 30, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Spanky Olson

    Hey people, I travel in and out of the States and Mexico all the time. I go through immigration, customs and make out a declaration sheet which states who I am, where I live, my business and how long I will be in Mexico. What is wrong with this my fellow americans, your name, your residence and what your doing.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sickandtired

    Coming across the border illegally – should be shot and killed. That should discourage the thieves from coming over. Let's get the National Guard on this ASAP!

    April 30, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Gramma M

    Illegal = not legal = against our laws........period!

    April 30, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  14. wardancer

    You have to expect this to start happening more now that everyone knows the authorities are not left with there thumbs up there butts. if ya know someones hands are tied your not as worried until there hands are able to fight back.

    April 30, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. joe martin

    Sincerely hope the officer recovers completely. conreport@informamerica.net

    April 30, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
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