MCSO Jail Officer Murdered Outside His Home

MCSO Jail Officer Murdered Outside His Home
Tex Texin via Flickr

A detention officer for the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office was shot and killed outside his home early Thursday morning.

Phoenix police are investigating the murder of the eight-year MCSO veteran, Jorge Vargas, who was gunned down in the driveway of his home near 91st Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road.

Police have not released a great amount of detail about the shooting at this point, as a Phoenix PD spokesman told New Times on Thursday afternoon that detectives were still out at the scene.

Investigators haven't released any motives in the killing of Vargas, who was just 27, but Sheriff Joe Arpaio, holding a press conference Thursday, said Vargas was wearing garb that clearly said "Sheriff" on it.

Strangely enough, Arpaio used the opportunity to hand out AR-15 rifles to deputies, which Arpaio had ordered due to "increasing violence" on the streets.

(His reasoning in a November press release was a little different: "More and more illegal aliens are attempting to escape which places my deputies in dangerous positions. In the near future I will be issuing automatic weapons for all my deputies.")

Arpaio said Vargas was married, and had a 5-year-old son.

UPDATE 12:20 p.m.: See information released by Phoenix police below, along with a sketch of the suspect:

On August 8, 2013 at approximately 4:05 AM, Jorge Vargas was shot and killed in the driveway of his home as he prepared to leave for work. A possible suspect was seen running southbound from the area at the time of the shooting. A witness in the area reported seeing a subject who possibly watched the suspect's description. This witness was able to provide enough information to a forensic artist and a composite drawing has just been released. Investigators have not determined a motive.

Anyone with information about this subject is asked to contact the Phoenix Police Department's Violent Crimes Bureau at (602) 262-6141 or Silent Witness at (480) WITNESS.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.

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