PCSO deputy left weapon in patrol car before burglary, shooting - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU


PCSO deputy left weapon in patrol car before burglary, shooting

Posted: Updated:
(Source: CBS 5 News) (Source: CBS 5 News)
Cosso Juarez (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's office) Cosso Juarez (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's office)
(Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Juan Nino (Source: Arizona Department of Corrections) Juan Nino (Source: Arizona Department of Corrections)
(Source: Allyson Blair, cbs5az.com) (Source: Allyson Blair, cbs5az.com)

A Pinal County sheriff's deputy left his department-issued assault rifle in a marked patrol car outside his residence before a burglary suspect allegedly broke a window and took the weapon Jan. 22.

That suspect, 24-year-old Juan Nino, was shot and wounded by a deputy U.S. Marshal in the parking lot of a Phoenix grocery store Monday afternoon.

The deputy apparently locked his patrol vehicle before going inside his home, but violated PCSO policy by leaving his weapon in the vehicle, according to a PCSO spokesman.

The burglary happened sometime between 7:30 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. A passer-by called 911 to report the damage, the spokesman said.

Detectives and members of the U.S. Marshals Service pegged Nino as an investigative lead and tracked him down in the parking lot of a Food City store near 48th Street and Southern Avenue late Monday before he was wounded.

Nino was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Cosso Juarez, 24, believed to be the driver of the blue Ford Mustang he and Nino were in, was being held on suspicion of possession of dangerous drugs and drug paraphernalia.

Phoenix police department officials confirmed U.S. Marshals were after the man in the passenger seat of the car.

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office initially said the suspect was wanted for a burglary "a while back" without revealing the deputy had left his weapon in the car. 

"The Pinal County Sheriff's Office has a policy which prohibits our members from leaving weapons inside of vehicles when the employee is not on duty," the PCSO spokesman said in a statement released Tuesday morning. "Currently our Professional Standards Unit is conducting an internal investigation into this matter."

A woman, who only wanted to be identified by her first name, and her sister were caught in the middle of the takedown.

The women were waiting on a parking space when she said several unmarked cars surrounded the Mustang in front of her.

"They had all doors blocked in," said Lisa.

"When they pulled him out of the car all I saw was shots go off. The gun was pointed down inside the car. Pow. Pow. Pow. They shot the dude," said Lisa.

Investigators said the suspect pulled a handgun. That's when an unidentified 39-year-old deputy marshal opened fire.

"I didn't see him pull a weapon. I didn't see him have a weapon. I just saw him trying to get out of the car," said Lisa.

No officers were injured, Phoenix police Sgt. Steve Martos said.

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.

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