Thursday, April 29, 2010

Deputy shot near Stanfield found


The deputy was found with a superficial wound - a chunk of skin torn from just above his left kidney - after being shot with an AK-47 on Friday afternoon, Pinal County sheriff's Lt. Tamatha Villar said. He was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Casa Grande, about 40 miles south of Phoenix.

Villar said the deputy was doing smuggling interdiction work and found bales of marijuana in the desert. He then encountered five suspected illegal immigrants, two armed with rifles, and was shot.


``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 Associated Press. ``I was speaking with him just a bit ago, and he's doing fantastic.''

``Over the past 12 months we've seen an increase in the amount of drugs, and an increase in violence that has been going on in this particular corridor,'' Villar told KPNX.

``We've had increasing concerns in this area about being outmanned and outgunned, and unfortunately this evening, this is coming true,'' he said.

The shooting came as Arizona grapples with backlash over its enactment of a tough new law targeting illegal immigration. Civil rights activists, concerned the law will lead to racial profiling, have called for a boycott of the state.

The law signed by Gov. Jan Brewer last week is supported by many in the state, which has become a major gateway for drug smuggling and human trafficking from Mexico.

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