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*Update: Shots fired at a DPS Officer from the driver of a stolen vehicle on I-10 north of Tucson

Suspect had stolen vehicle from victim in Peoria at gunpoint

Saturday, December 19, 2009 -

Contact PIO

On December 19, 2009, at about 3:18 pm a Department of Public Safety (DPS) Officer was patrolling westbound on Interstate 10 near milepost 249. The officer was passed by a white Ford pickup truck. As the officer got in behind the pickup he noted the pickup began to speed up. The officer attempted to stop the pickup. The pickup continued on and exited off the interstate at the Cortaro Rd. off ramp. The officer did a record check of the license plate on the pickup and found that the pickup had been stolen at gun point in Peoria, Ariz. The officer attempted deployment of the Starchase pursuit tool without success. Then, as the officer attempted to get a look at the driver of the pickup, the driver opened fire on the officer firing two rounds from a handgun at the patrol vehicle. The patrol vehicle was struck on the passenger side, missing the officer. The officer, thinking he had been shot, stopped his vehicle.

At about 4:04 pm, another DPS officer observed the white Ford pickup heading south from the Marana Airpark entrance in the Marana area. The officer pulled in behind the pickup which sped off at a high rate of speed. A pursuit ensued. Units from the Pima County Sherriff office and Marana Police Department assisted in the pursuit.

The pickup turned eastbound on Avra Valley Road. At Avra Valley Road and Anway a Marana Police Department officer had deployed road spikes. The pickup struck the spikes which began to deflate the tires. The pickup swerved and struck the parked Marana police vehicle. The Marana police officer, who was outside of his vehicle, was not injured. The pickup ran off the road going through a right of way fence and coming to a stop. The driver, a male subject, exited the pickup and was taken into custody without further incident.

Juan Jesus Lebario, 31, from Phoenix, Ariz. was booked into the Pima County Jail on two counts aggravated assault, felony flight, possession of a stolen vehicle, and criminal damage. Additionally there was an outstanding felony warrant for Juan Lebario for vehicle theft.

The investigation is on going and further charges are pending.

- End -

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a state-level law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity and providing vital support to the State of Arizona and its citizens.