Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Rifle Stolen From Sheriff's Office Used In I-17 Shootout

A high-powered rifle a man used to fire at state troopers during a pursuit before he was fatally shot on a Phoenix freeway was stolen from the Maricopa County Sheriff's office, authorities said Wednesday. Sheriff Paul Penzone said a second long gun stolen from the agency also was found in the suspect's truck after Monday's shootout.

The weapons were last known to be in the office's possession between 2010 and 2015.

Penzone said at a news conference that an audit started in 2016 before he took office the following year showed 29 firearms were discovered missing. The findings were turned over to federal authorities.

The sheriff said he can't speak for the agency's former administration, but deputies sometimes leave weapons in their vehicles that wind up getting burglarized. Penzone said changes have been made in the way his office inventories its weapons.

"This is a disappointing moment that we need to address and overcome," Penzone said. "Lack of discipline and accountability is unacceptable."

Phoenix police said 27-year-old Arnaldo Caraveo was fatally shot after Monday's shootout that closed part of Interstate 17 for about 18 hours.

Mesa police responded to a call of a fight involving an armed pickup truck driver. The suspect didn't yield to police instructions to stop, and that led to a police chase into Phoenix.

An Arizona Department of Safety trooper used his vehicle to stop the suspect's vehicle and authorities said the man later identified as Caraveo fired numerous rounds from a rifle. Five Mesa police officers and three DPS troopers returned fire, killing the suspect.

Two DPS troopers were slightly hurt by shattered glass during the shootout.