Tuesday, August 14, 2012



Note:  A good time to revisit this webpage.

Note:  Despite extensive border exposure, Pima county/Tucson seldom manage to catch anyone.
Some more details in KGUN report.  

Two men connected to assault of Tucson officer in custody
22 hours ago  •  Veronica M. Cruz/Arizona Daily Star

Two of three men connected to an assault of a Tucson police officer are in custody following an hours-long search of a south-side neighborhood. 

Sixth and 12th avenues between West Ajo Way and West Michigan Street are now open following the massive search, but some neighborhood streets in the area continue to be closed and there is still a police presence in the area continuing the investigation, said Sgt. Maria Hawke, a Tucson police spokeswoman. 

The incident started just before 11 p.m. Sunday night when police received a 911 call that several men armed with guns were pointing them at people at a car wash at West Irvington Road and South Liberty Avenue, Hawke said. 

At least two of the men were armed with assault rifles, handguns and were wearing tactical armor, she said. 

Officers responded to the car wash immediately and checked on the people at the car wash and saw the suspects leaving the scene in a vehicle headed northbound into a nearby neighborhood. 

Police followed the car which came to a stop near South Liberty Avenue and West Aviation Drive and the three men got out and ran in different directions, Hawke said. 

Additional weapons were found in the suspects' vehicle. 

One officer saw one of the suspects jump over a wall into a resident's backyard and began to get out of his vehicle when the man popped up over the wall and began shooting at the officer, striking his patrol car several times, Hawke said. 

The officer was not hit by the gunfire, but sustained minor injuries from broken glass, and was able to get out of the car and take cover behind it, Hawke said.

All available TPD units in the city and the SWAT team were then called to assist with the incident and to block off streets in the neighborhood to search for the men. 

One man was found a block away from where the vehicle was stopped and another man was found two to three hours later near Sixth Avenue and Pennsylvania Street, Hawke said. 

The second man was apprehended with help from the K-9 unit and was taken to the hospital for treatment of a bite. 

Police believe one of the two men in custody is the person who fired at the officer, Hawke said. 

The names of the two suspects have not been released. 

Police are still looking for the third man who is about 35 years old, weighs 220 pounds and stands about 5 feet 7 inches tall. 

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or 88-CRIME (882-7463). 

Police continue the search for an "armed and dangerous" man
CREATED AUG. 13, 2012

The patrol car involved in the aggravated assault on an officer. The officer received only minor injuries from debris. Photos courtesy of Tucson Police. 
Reporter: Rikki Mitchell 
Web Producer: Sara Wright

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Police, along with the U.S. Marshals Service are still searching for a man they say opened fire on an officer, after they arrested two others in the same incident.

TPD tells KGUN9 that Sergio Valenzuela, 20, and Jose Tapia Paloma, 24, were arrested and charged with several felony offenses after they led police on a man-hunt Sunday night.

Officers responded to Irvington and Liberty Sunday around 10:50 p.m., to reports of three men waving guns and pointing them at people at a car wash.

Police say the men were equipped with three assault rifles, a Glock handgun, about 400 rounds of ammunition and a bullet proof vest.

When officers arrived at the car wash, the men took off in their car. The suspects ditched the car in the area of Pennsylvania and Liberty and took off on foot. One of the suspects jumped a wall, turned, and opened fire on an officer.

The officer was not injured, but TPD called all officers on duty for back-up, including five SWAT teams.

Police tracked down two of the suspects with the help of police K9s, and one of the men was bitten by a police dog and taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.

Micaela Bullock works across the street, and says this incident, along with recent robberies at her store, scares her.
"Just knowing that hooligans are out in the neighborhood making ruckus around here, it's actually kind of nerve-racking," she said.

Officers are still on the lookout for the third man. Police say he may be wearing body armor, and could be carrying an assault rifle.

Ericka Acuna works at the hair salon next door to the car wash where this incident first started. She says that knowing the third suspect is still out there worries her.
"We're right next door to it," she said. "I mean, I worked yesterday and if we would have stayed any later, you know, it's very scary."

Police conducted a yard-by-yard search of the area, and consider the suspect armed and dangerous.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 35 years-old,  5' 7" tall, and 220 pounds.

TUSD says C.E. Rose Elementary School, which is in the area, was open for classes today.

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