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Man fatally shot by Tucson police had warrants for home invasion, bank robberies

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Tucson Police investigators at a shooting scene at a Circle K store, Bilby Road and Park Avenue, on Thursday.

A man who was fatally shot by Tucson police officers last week was wanted on arrest warrants connected to a home invasion and multiple bank robberies, authorities said Thursday.

At about noon Aug. 25, members of the Tucson Police Department SWAT team and detectives were conducting surveillance on 49-year-old Francisco Javier Galarza, who had active warrants for his arrest, according to a news release from the Pima County Regional Critical Incident Team, which is investigating the shooting.

Officers followed him to the Circle K in the 6000 block of South Park Avenue, near East Bilby Road, and he was ordered to stop and show his hands.

Galarza ran away and removed a black handgun from a bag he was carrying. A police K-9 was released and stopped Galarza, causing him to fall to the ground. When Galarza pointed the handgun at officers and the K-9, officers fired at Galarza, striking him.

Officers began performing first aid on Galarza, but he was pronounced dead at the scene. No bystanders or officers were injured.

The officers involved in the shooting were identified as Officer Ernest Ortiz, a 15-year veteran, and Officer Barrie Pedersen, a 17-year veteran.

As part of the Pima County Regional Critical Incident Team, the Marana Police Department and the Pima County Sheriff’s Department are handling the criminal investigation of this incident. The Tucson Police Department will conduct a separate, but parallel, administrative investigation to examine the actions of Tucson Police Department personnel.


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