News >> Browse Articles >> Crime News


AZ Deputy Shot with AK-47; Illegal Immigrants Suspected

AZ Deputy Shot with AK-47; Illegal Immigrants Suspected

Law enforcement officers from different agencies gather to coordinate the search for a suspect that shot a Pinal County Sheriff's deputy Friday April 30, 2010 in the desert southwest of Stanfield, Ariz. Pinal County sheriff's Lt. Tamatha Villar says the d

Associated Press

May 01, 2010

PHOENIX — Law officers backed by helicopters hunted gunmen in Arizona’s desert early Saturday after a sheriff’s deputy was wounded by suspected illegal immigrants believed to be smuggling marijuana, officials said. The violent episode came amid nationwide debate over the state’s tough new immigration law.

Pinal County Deputy Louie Puroll was patrolling alone Friday afternoon in a rugged area near Interstate 8, about 50 miles south of Phoenix, when he came upon a band of suspected smugglers, authorities said.

At least one of five suspects opened fire on the 53-year-old lawman, tearing a chunk of skin from just above his left kidney. The officer was found after a frantic hourlong search, Pinal County sheriff’s Lt. Tamatha Villar said.

The wound was not serious and Puroll was released Friday night from Casa Grande Regional Medical Center.

State and federal law enforcement agencies deployed helicopters and scores of officers to search a 100 square-mile zone near the Interstate and Arizona 84 for the suspects. The Arizona Republic reported officials said more than one of the choppers came under fire during the manhunt.

The Pinal Sheriff’s department told The Associated Press that the hunt into the early morning hours Saturday but no arrests had been made.

The shooting was likely to add fuel to an already fiery national debate sparked last week when Gov. Jan Brewer signed a law cracking down on illegal immigration in the state.

A backlash over the law has surged with civil rights activists, concerned it will lead to racial profiling, calling for protests and a boycott of the state.

The new law’s passage came amid increasing anger in Arizona about violence, drug smugglers, illegal immigration drop houses and other problems that some say are caused by poor border security. The issue gained focus a month ago when a southern Arizona rancher was shot and killed by a suspected illegal border crosser.

Arizona politicians called Friday’s shooting an outrage and urged the federal government to do more to secure the border with Mexico.

“Regardless of the outcome of tonight’s manhunt and investigation, Arizona is now confronted by some of the most vicious and dangerous narco-terror organizations the world has seen,” Brewer said in a statement.

Rep. Kirkpatrick, a Democrat whose district includes part of Pinal County, said the violence “should show the rest of the country what we Arizonans have known for too long — the unsecured border poses a very real and very immediate danger.”

Puroll, a 15-year department veteran, had been carrying out smuggling interdiction work before finding the bales of marijuana and encountering the five suspected illegal immigrants, two armed with rifles.

“He was out on his routine daily patrol in the area when he encountered a load of marijuana out in the desert. He obviously confronted the individuals and took fire,” Villar told The AP.

The Republic quoted Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu as saying about 30 bullets were fired at the deputy, who returned fire with a semi-automatic rifle and a handgun.

The area is a well-known smuggling corridor for drugs and illegal immigrants headed from Mexico to Phoenix and the U.S. interior.

“(Puroll) is a search-and-rescue deputy, so its not uncommon for them to work those areas A) looking for drugs and B) looking for people who need assistance out there,” Villar said.

  • Funny_pictures_56616_max50


    over 4 years ago


    copper380...........BUMP & BUMP................AND BUMP

  • Evgeni_nabokov_max50


    over 4 years ago



  • In_remembrance_of_oakland_pd_max50_max50_max50_max50_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Thoughts and prayers go out to the officer for a full recovery. When the dirtbag illegals are found, they should be made to dig a hole, stand them in it and fill it to the neck line and left in that condition.

  • Img_0490_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I pray that the Deputy makes a speedy recovery. Those people, who want to hug those illegal immigrants, really piss me off. Those illegal immigrants had drugs, guns, and shoot a Law Enforcement Officer, but you have people out their protesting the new Arizona law. Again, my prayers go out to the Deputy and family.

  • Scannedimage_sq90_max50


    over 4 years ago


    This is a war, but Washington won't let us fight it! Seal the border! What is it going to take?

  • Images_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Bump Copper380 all the way.

  • 1979_max50


    over 4 years ago


    The BP and Sheriff's Officer have arrested 17 or so illegals that they believe are involved including the two or three that did the actual shooting. Like I said, they shoot at a LEO they go away for a very long time, they kill a LEO, they are exicuted in the electric chair period. None of this putting them to sleep crap. If they are just here illegally, 1st time is 30 days at hard labor picking up trash etc, 2nd is 60 days, 3rdx is 90 days and 4th and every time afterwards is one year at hard labor buiklding roads and cleaning up the State. Not sitting in a cell watching TV and learning how to beat the system. When the enstence is over, kick them acrioss the border in nothing but thier underware.

  • Me_last_wk_max50


    over 4 years ago



  • Robertmitchum_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Pull the MP's out of Iraq and put them on the border and secure it PERIOD....

  • Academy_001_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Great job Deputy! It is shocking that during all of this that there are still protests for civil rights of NON US CITIZENS!!! Again great job, glad to see you pulled through!

  • Photo_user_banned_big


    over 4 years ago


    I'm sick of this crap, a Deputy gets shot and people are protesting for the rights of the same POS that shot the Deputy.

  • Img_20111016_163737_max50


    over 4 years ago


    from what I have been told 17 individuals were originally captured. 3 were suppsebly identified as being part of the 5 man group that injured the deputy

  • Phf_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Stories like this need to be the news, not the violent leftwing protests (notice it's the left wingers who always stir violence, though they'll tell you it's the conservatives who are violent).
    Glad the deputy will be fine. Hope they catch the jerks who were shooting at him.

  • Bayou_032_max50


    over 4 years ago


    bump copper 380

  • Oc16_001_max50


    over 4 years ago


    These narco criminals have no respect for law officers. I think we need to build a tall wall, like China's Great Wall and use choppers to observe.

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.