Officer fires at suspects; both are captured
DAVID L. TEIBEL and BLAKE MORLOCK
GARY GAYNOR/Tucson Citizen
A DPS officer walks away from his vehicle after it was rammed during a traffic stop near South Houghton Road and Interstate 10. The two suspects, one of whom was shot, fled on foot and were captured three hours later.
GARY GAYNOR/Tucson Citizen
A DPS officer watches the desert from South Wentworth Road near Interstate 10 after another DPS officer had his patrol car rammed while trying to stop a reported stolen pickup filled with drugs on South Houghton Road.
Two men are in jail, accused of stealing a truck, transporting marijuana and purposely crashing into a police car as an officer tried to stop the driver.
Luis Alfredo Chavez-Drew, 26, and Jesus Adan Montano-Toscano, 23, both of Mexico, were arrested after law enforcement agencies spent more than three hours searching for them in the desert east of Tucson, said sheriff's spokeswoman Deputy Dawn Barkman.
They tried to avoid a traffic stop by throwing the truck in reverse and ramming Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer Keith Duckett's patrol car, officials said.
Duckett, a 12-year DPS veteran, fired at the truck as it sped off, Barkman said.
The men eventually abandoned the truck. Chavez-Drew, when found, was injured, but it was uncertain if he had been hit by a bullet, Barkman said.
At least 50 officers from four law enforcement agencies were called to search the desert near South Houghton Road and Interstate 10.
Marijuana was found in the truck, officials said.
Officer Jim Oien, a Department of Public Safety spokesman said the suspects "ran a long way ... at least five miles or better" from where the truck was abandoned.
The men left the truck on a power line road about a quarter-mile east of Houghton and about a mile and a half south of Interstate 10, said Oien.
Chavez-Drew was treated at a hospital before being booked into jail, Barkman said.
She said each man is being held on one count of aggravated assault, one count of theft of a means of transportation and a count of possession and transportation of marijuana.
Oien said the incident started at about 9 a.m. when the DPS officer pulled over what he suspected was a stolen pickup.
It was unclear if the officer initiated the stop on Interstate 10 or north of the freeway on Houghton.
The driver stopped on Houghton, just north of the interstate, said another DPS spokesman, Officer Frank Torres.
Torres said at some point during the stop, the driver backed his truck into the DPS patrol car, disabling it.
He then drove south on Houghton.
The officer fired at least one shot as the truck backed into his vehicle, Torres said.
Officers from DPS, the Pima County Sheriff's Department, the Tucson Police Department and U.S. Border Patrol were called to the area.
Law officers fanned out looking for the two men.
They found one of them at around 12:30 and the other about 20 minutes later, along railroad tracks in the Vail area.
During the hunt for the men, Oien said, the Houghton interchange was closed, slowing traffic on I-10.
Officers have not determined when the truck was stolen or from whom it was taken.
The Vail School District was on lockdown while officers were looking for the two suspects.
XAVIER GALLEGOS/Tucson Citizen
Medical staff bring a man to University Medical Center after he was shot by police.