'Person of interest' in custody in police officer's shooting

2012-11-20T00:00:00Z 2014-08-05T10:16:13Z 'Person of interest' in custody in police officer's shootingCarmen Duarte Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
November 20, 2012 12:00 am  • 

A person of interest has been detained by Tucson police in the shooting of a police sergeant Sunday morning, the department said.

In a posting Monday night on its Facebook page, the department said the person has not been charged in connection with the shooting of Sgt. Robert Carpenter, who was critically wounded responding to a burglar alarm at a midtown house.

Carpenter, 46, underwent surgery Sunday at University of Arizona Medical Center and was responsive, police said. He was in critical but stable condition Monday, police said.

Carpenter, a 12-year veteran of the department, was shot in the head a little after 5 a.m. Sunday when officers responded a second time to an alarm at a house in the 4000 block of East Elmwood Street.

Officers checked the house and found no one inside.

While standing outside the home, officers reported hearing a shot, then saw Carpenter collapse. He was taken by ambulance to UAMC.

A massive manhunt after the shooting failed to find the shooter.

Officers first responded at 1:43 a.m. and saw in the home's yard a man described as Hispanic, between 20 and 30 years of age. He was described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 160 pounds, and was wearing jeans and a dark blue jersey with a red number "43" outlined in white. The man ran from officers who searched for him for more than an hour.

Police released a photo of a baseball cap the man might have been wearing.

Investigators are "chasing down leads and exploring avenues," said Sgt. Maria Hawke, a police spokeswoman.

The department is being assisted by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Marshals Service, she said.

Investigators are asking that any people who frequent the neighborhood where the shooting took place, which is east of North Alvernon Way and north of East Broadway, call 88-CRIME or 911 if they saw suspicious or strange activity, Hawke said.

"Please come forward with any of that information. It could help us focus our efforts," she said.

Investigators are also asking the public for help regarding the cap found during the investigation.

The cap is white, red and black with "Y-Z" lettering on the front.

Mary Marino, who lives across the street from where Carpenter was shot, said she was told by a detective that police had searched her shed and found stolen items stashed inside.

Meanwhile, 88-CRIME is offering a $1,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and indictment in the shooting, said Susie Dupnik, executive director of 88-CRIME.

The Tucson Police Foundation website - www.tucsonpolicefoundation.org - also has information about how people can make donations to help support the Carpenter family, Hawke said.

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at 573-4104 or cduarte@azstarnet.com

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