by Jim Nintzel
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is reopening an investigation into the shooting of Deputy Louie Puroll following last week's Phoenix New Times story that examined whether Puroll's version of events added up.
The news release from the Pinal County Sheriff's Department:
On April 30th, 2010 Pinal County Sheriff’s Deputy Louie Puroll was involved in a shooting with individuals in the Vekol Valley. This shooting drew both local and national attention.
The shooting was investigated by the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The criminal investigation had concluded and the facts of the case confirmed the accounts of the event as Deputy Puroll described.
Last week, the below two individuals reported to a Phoenix media outlet that they felt Deputy Puroll had been shot at a close distance (“within a couple of inches”) and not at a distance as
the investigation has determined.
Doctor Michael Baden, co-director of the New York State Police Medicolegal Investigation Unit and former Chief Medical Examiner for New York City.
Doctor Werner Spitz, co-author of the textbook Medicolegal Investigation of Death and the retired Chief Medical Examiner of Detroit’s Wayne County.
Doctor Phil Keen, Maricopa County’s former Chief Medical Examiner, said that he did not agree with Dr. Baden or Dr. Spitz on their “contact wound” opinion. He stated he would need the results of the shirt being tested to confirm his opinion.
In an effort to maintain the transparency of our criminal investigation, we are reopening this case. The shirt Deputy Puroll was wearing on the day of the shooting will be sent to the Arizona Department of Safety for testing. The DPS Crime Laboratory has been asked to check the shirt for the presence of gun shot residue indicative of a close contact shot, charring, burning or any other evidence they can find of a close contact shot.
If in fact a rifle was fired at Deputy Puroll within a couple of inches as Dr. Baden and Dr. Spitz have concluded, burn marks and reside will be present on the shirt. Below is a photo of the shirt which was preserved in our evidence room to ensure proper chain of custody. The shirt will be turned over to the Arizona Department of Public Safety today.