CCSO investigates suicide after initial deputy contact | Crime
On February 28, at approximately 2:15 pm, a Cochise County Sheriff’s Deputy was on routine patrol near mile post 382 off I-10 in the San Simon area. The Deputy advised that he observed a 2005 Ford Explorer with Canadian license plates backed into a pull out off of the frontage road near the exit and he did not see any occupants inside of the vehicle.
The Deputy pulled into the area at which time a male subject sat up in the driver’s seat. The Deputy made contact with the man who seemed to be slightly disoriented and nervous. The Deputy asked the man if he was alright and where he was traveling to/from. The man advised that he was coming from California and going to New York.
As the man continued acting nervous and suspicious, the Deputy asked for identification and for the man to step out of the vehicle, at which time the driver put the vehicle in gear and sped off for approximately 50 yards before stopping again on the roadway. As the Deputy got into his vehicle and attempted to follow the Explorer, the vehicle sped off once more going a short distance before going off the side of the road and striking a tree. The vehicle continued to have the wheels spin at a fast rate and the grass under the vehicle caught on fire. The Deputy approached the vehicle and observed the man driving was holding a 9mm handgun and he had shot himself under the chin. The vehicle was still running and the accelerator was pushed down by the man’s foot even after he had shot himself. Deputies were able to get the vehicle turned off before getting a fire extinguisher and putting out the grass fire underneath.
The driver has been tentatively identified as a 54-year-old from California and/or Canada. Sheriff’s Deputies are attempting to identify and make notification to next of kin before release of his name.
The frontage road named Power Road was closed to through traffic for approximately nine hours until the scene could be processed. Assisting agencies in this case were the Arizona Department of Public Safety, DPS Explosive Ordinance Division from Tucson, San Simon Port of Entry, San Simon Fire Department, and Health Care Innovations.
In a subsequent vehicle search, Deputies located additional firearms, a multitude of ammunition that was loose, in boxes, and in bandolier holders. There were numerous other items located including currency, a ski mask, binoculars, gloves, a wig and makeup. Based upon evidence processed in the vehicle and correspondence with other law enforcement agencies in Tucson it is believed that this subject may be connected to other criminal activity in the Tucson area.
The investigation is being continued by the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office in cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.