A man who was shot and killed early Sunday during a confrontation with Pima County Sheriff’s deputies was the suspect in the earlier murder of his girlfriend, Tucson police said.
Officers responded to a possible homicide call at about 1 a.m. at a home in the 3800 block of South Palm Side Drive, near East Golf Links Road and South Pantano Road, according to a Tucson Police Department news release. Upon arrival, they found the body of 26-year-old Christine Betancourt with signs of blunt force trauma inside the home, the release said.
The caller who reported the homicide stated he was Betancourt’s cousin and that Betancourt’s boyfriend, 26-year-old Manuel Encinas, had called him to say that he was going to kill Betancourt and them himself, according to the release.
An “attempt to locate” order was issued for Encinas, who lived at the residence, but was missing, along with Betancourt’s car.
During the investigation, TPD was contacted by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department about an incident at a south side Circle K, in the 9800 block of South Nogales Highway, during which Encinas was shot and killed by deputies.
Sheriff’s deputies responded to an emergency call about an armed robbery at the convenience store at around 2 a.m., a Pima County Sheriff’s Department news release said.
When deputies arrived, they found Encinas positioned directly behind the Circle K employee with a gun, the release said. Encinas ordered the employee to exit the store as he followed, according to the release.
Once outside, the employee ran toward a deputy for safety. Encinas presented his weapon and was fatally shot by deputies, the release said.
The employee and both deputies were unharmed.