Pima Co. releases 75-page report on cross-town crime spree - Tucson News Now

Pima Co. releases 75-page report on cross-town crime spree

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Pima County  Sheriff's Department has just released a 75-page report that covers its investigation into the shooting involving Jesus Rael and a Marana Police officer, near I-19 and Ajo.  According to reports during that moment, officers were fearing for their lives. 

What began as a bank robbery days before in Marana, led to a crash and shootout on I-19.  According to the report, Officer Gabriel Tapia, with the Marana Police Department came face to face with Rael, who was armed with a rifle, as he was getting out of his patrol car on the scene.  

A detective, who spoke with Tapia said in his report that he (Tapia) was outgunned by a rifle, by having a pistol and just pulling up, so he went looking for cover. Tapia also stated that at one point he thought he was going to be killed and shot.  

"He stated that on numerous occasions, he believed that he, the other detective or other civilians were going to be killed and stated words to the effect of: This was the most frightening event he had during his approximately four and a half years as a police officer," said the detective. 

Another detective spoke to a witness, who was driving on I-19 right as this was happening and says she described the scene as chaotic, saying that Officer Tapia came over to them, visibly shaken and asked if they were ok.  

Rael got away by driving off in Tapia’s police cruiser, later abandoning it and carjacking an elderly couple. After a pursuit and crash in midtown, he was shot and killed by Tucson police.

There were two Marana police officers involved at the I-19 scene. Tapia has been on the force for about five years and Abel Samano who has been on the force for 10 years. Both were placed on paid administrative leave at the time of the incident, which is standard procedure.

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