Crime Trackers

Dec 23, 2013 7:40 PM by Lupita Murillo

Pinal Co. deputy shoots and kills one suspect, and wounds another

PICACHO PEAK - Pinal County Sheriff's detectives investigating an armed robbery that ended up with one suspect dead, and another one wounded.

It happened Monday morning just before 6:30, at the M Passion Boutique just off Interstate 10 and Picacho Peak. Investigators say two armed men walked in the adult boutique, pointed weapons at the cashier, tied her up, and then took money from the cash register. They also took a safe. The two men sped away.

A seven year Pinal County sheriff's patrol deputy was in the area and spotted the vehicle and gave chase. The suspects tried to lose the deputy, the deputy wouldn't give in. Pinal Sheriff Paul Babeu says the suspects ended up ramming their vehicle into the deputy's truck head on.

The air bags deployed, the deputy got out of the truck, a gun battle ensued according to Sheriff Babeu. He adds, the deputy who is also a five year member of the SWAT team shot and killed one suspect and wounded the other one.

Sheriff Babeu says, "I spoke to the deputy personally, he says the suspect vehicle was going off the road doing speeds close to 100 mph." He adds, the suspects also had a police scanners and were monitoring the radio traffic.

T.J. Jett, who was traveling in the same vicinity says this is troubling. "I think when any criminal endangers the public by doing high speed chases or anything like that, their punishment should be doubled for putting the public at risk."

Christine Lercher says this is frightening, especially for the woman the suspects tied up. "Why do they have the need to take things from other people who work hard. She says the suspects need to work and behave themselves."

Sheriff Babeu says the deputy did an outstanding job of catching the bad guys, protecting the public and keeping himself safe. He attributes that to good training.

The manager of the adult boutique says they are very thankful their employee was not injured and is doing well.

The sheriff's deputy is on administrative leave with pay, which is standard procedure when there is an officer involved shooting.

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