Friday, September 16, 2011

DPS Officers Ambushed by Shooter

DPS Officers Ambushed by Shooter:

Border area plagued by drug and human smuggling

Updated: Friday, 16 Sep 2011, 12:57 PM MST
Published : Friday, 16 Sep 2011, 7:12 AM MST

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. - An officer-involved shooting has occurred in Pinal County Friday morning near an Interstate 8 rest stop.

Arizona Department of Public Safety officers exchanged gunfire with a suspect, east of Vekol Valley, near Casa Grande.

Officers had just ended an investigation of a human and drug smuggling case in that area, which is well-known as being a corridor for both.

Just after 6 a.m., officers walking back to their command post were ambushed by an armed suspect who began shooting.

Although gunfire was exchanged, there were no injuries.

A person of interest was taken into custody at the rest stop. That person has not been identified or named as a suspect.

As officers searched for the shooter by helicopter, they found an AK-47 and backpacks filled with drugs, but it was not known if those items were tied to the shooting.

Federal and local law enforcement agencies are at the scene, and about 100 people are continuing to search for other possible suspects.

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