The Maricopa County Sheriff's deputy was shot overnight near 83rd Avenue and Deer Valley Monday night.
PEORIA, Ariz. -
Authorities say a Maricopa County sheriff's deputy was shot several times after trying to conduct a traffic stop.
This all started around 11 p.m. Monday when a woman called 9-1-1 -- she was worried about the safety of her ex-boyfriend, saying he was suicidal, had a gun and he threatened her.
Deputy Ruben Garcia (pictured above) found the man in question and tried to pull him over for a traffic stop.
"The truck pulled over into the Valero parking lot where Deputy Garcia approached the vehicle. At this point we are unsure what occurred, however we do know that Deputy Garcia was struck several times by gunfire, presumed to be that of the suspects," said MCSO's Sgt. Brandon Jones.
Authorities say witnesses heard several gunshots and saw the deputy fall down and the suspect took off, but didn't get too far.
Garcia was found by officers on the ground, bleeding from his wounds.
Peoria police say after the shooting, the suspect then drove to a desert area near 89th Avenue and Happy Valley Road. Officers tried to stop the suspect, but he fired shots at them. They returned fire and found the suspect dead in his truck's front seat nearby.
"Officers arrived here to the scene..they found a Maricopa County Sheriff's officer who had been shot. They immediately started tending his wounds, doing CPR. Emergency crews arrived, transporting him to a nearby hospital," said Amanda Jacinto, Peoria police spokesperson. "We believe that he was doing a routine traffic stop here at this location when he was shot by our suspect."
"It was a domestic violence situation initially..not going to get into all the details, but I will tell you..our deputy..that responded..suspicious vehicle..was shot several times..life threatening..," said Sheriff Arpaio.
The deputy remains hospitalized at John C. Lincoln North Mountain in extremely critical condition.
"The family is here..I met with the family, we're going to do everything we can to take care of the family. I have confidence in the medical professionals here..that they'll do everything they can to save his life."
Arpaio adds, "This is another sad situation. Almost to the hour, one of our deputies was killed in Anthem..semi-automatic weapon..a year ago, so this is another sad situation and we hope that our deputy pulls out."
A family member of Deputy Garcia stated, "He's just hard working..loves his job..he's been doing it for so long...good, hard working man."
The suspect has been identified as 54-year-old Donald Miller Sr. of Peoria (pictured to the left). At this time, it's unknown if he took his own life or if he was killed by the officers.
Jones said no surgery has been able to be performed as of yet on Garcia.
The shooting comes a day after a Phoenix police officer was shot and wounded as he approached a man on a bicycle.