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Pima County sheriff's deputy dies from gunshot wound

Deputy, found near his vehicle with a gun shot to the head Thursday has 'passed away,' sheriff says

A Pima County sheriff's deputy, found shot in the head earlier this week, died from his wounds Saturday, authorities said.

"It is with incredible sadness that I inform you that the deputy involved in the critical incident on Nov. 18, 2021, has passed away," wrote Sheriff Chris Nanos in a brief statement released Saturday afternoon. "At the request of the deputy's family, we are not releasing any further details at this time," he said.

"However, there is no active threat to the community related to this incident," he wrote.

"Please understand this is difficult time for our department and the deputy's family," Nanos wrote.

The deputy, whose name has not been released by the Pima County Sheriff's Department, was on duty and had parked his vehicle in a lot near a church at the 5100 block of South Julian Drive around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Few details have been released about the incident, but during a press conference Thursday, Nanos said that the deputy was found by other deputies after they were sent to his location when PCSD's communications center realized he had an open mike on his radio, but could not be reached.

"We sent units to his location, and that's where he was found," Nanos said Thursday. The deputy was transported to Banner University Medical Center, and his wife and other family members were notified.

Nanos added that while the agency deployed a helicopter and additional deputies to search the area on Thursday, there were no suspects in the incident.

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"We do not believe there's a threat to the community at this time, but we're still having a lot of work to do to process the scene and conduct interviews," he said. Nanos said Thursday that the incident was a "sensitive subject" and that the family had just learned of the deputy's injuries.

Toward the end of the press conference, the visibly shaken sheriff said that the deputy was a "family member of ours," and said the department will investigate the incident, "at whatever pace is necessary, and as thoroughly and as completely as we can."

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Dylan Smith/TucsonSentinel.com

Nanos in 2015, as he was readying to take over the Pima County Sheriff's Department for the first time.