A Pinal County Sheriff Deputy shot and wounded on Friday. Pinal County Deputy was shot after confronting a small group of men; near I-10 at Arizona Hwy 84. The men processing large bales of marijuana. The shooting comes after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer sign a tough on illegal immigrants law.
State and federal law enforcement agencies deployed helicopters and scores of officers in pursuit of the suspects after the deputy injured with an AK-47 on Friday afternoon, and the search continued into the night. Deputy Louie Puroll, 53, had a chunk of skin torn from just above his left kidney, but the wound was not serious. He was released Friday night from Casa Grande Regional Medical Center.
The shooting was likely to add fuel to an already fiery national debate sparked last week by the signing of an Arizona law aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration in the state.
Puroll was found in the desert after a frantic hourlong search, suffering from a gunshot wound, Pinal County sheriff’s Lt. Tamatha Villar said. The 15-year department veteran had been performing 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 Associated Press. “I was speaking with him just a bit ago, and he’s doing fantastic.”
The shooting happens when opponents of the Arizona law is protesting the law including a Nationwide May Day protest on Saturday and two lawsuits including one by the American Civil Liberties Union.
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.
Its passage came amid increasing anger in Arizona about violence, drug smugglers, drop houses and other problems caused by poor border security.
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