Who shot Pinal Deputy Puroll: Bloody shirt prime evidence to prove ambush by drug smugglers

First we had that pesky O.J. Simpson glove. Then came Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress.

Pinal County Deputy Purrol's bloody T-shirt/submitted photo

Now we have Pinal County Sheriff Deputy Louie Puroll’s bloody T-shirt.

Puroll’s bullet-holed shirt is officially being turned over to the Arizona Department of Public Safety – and his shooting case being re-opened – in the wake of reports that question the veracity of Puroll’s account of what happened out in the desert April 30, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

To recap, 53-year-old Puroll, a 15-year-veteran with the sheriff’s office, was wounded on his left side while out tracking drug smugglers near Antelope Peak.

“He was ambushed and shot,” says a May 9 letter from Sheriff Paul Babeu, with the shooting resulting in a multi-agency sweep. “There were over 100 illegals apprehended within our security perimeter in the remote desert area south of I-8 and west of Casa Grande, just within 24 hours we were there.”

Two medical examiners, one from New York and the other out of Michigan, told the Arizona Republic there is no way Puroll was shot from afar.

He had to be “within inches” of the weapon, not 25 yards away, claims Dr. Michael Baden, co-director of the New York State Police Medicolegal Investigation Unit and former chief medical examiner for New York City.

“This was fired at contact range . . . with the muzzle of the gun lying against the skin,” the Republic quotes Dr. Werner Spitz, co-author of the textbook “Medicolegal Investigation of Death” and the retired chief medical examiner of Detroit’s Wayne County.

Close-up of Pinal County Deputy Purrol's wound on his back/submitted photo

Neither doctor treated Puroll and both made conclusions based on photos of the wound.

“If in fact a rifle was fired at Deputy Puroll within a couple of inches as Dr. Baden and Dr. Spitz have concluded,” a release from Babeu’s office says, “burn marks and residue will be present on the shirt.”

Other “law-enforcement experts” question why Puroll was patrolling alone and how smugglers got away with large loads of marijuana if so many searchers were on the scene, the Republic story adds.

The case had already been closed. Both the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and the Arizona Department of Public Safety had concluded their criminal investigation and confirmed Puroll’s account of what transpired. But now the sheriff’s office is re-opening it for further investigation.

Egads – was the shooting staged only to get some attention? Is all this mumbo jumbo about dangers in the desert, like rampantly running armed drug smugglers, really just a myth?

Hopefully the shirt will help with the answers – provided, of course, it fits better than some bloody gloves.


Pinal County Deputy Purrol's wound/submitted photo


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
This entry was posted in Crime, danger, death, environment, gross stuff, immigrants, life, Police/fire/law and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Who shot Pinal Deputy Puroll: Bloody shirt prime evidence to prove ambush by drug smugglers

  1. JoeS says:

    Methinks some experts are going to have some egg on their face….

    No GSR tattooing evident,   the so called “soot” sure looks like dried blood on the edges of a wound to me.   The so called,  reddness caused by the “carbon monoxide laden-gases” sure looks like redness/swelling associated with a recent wound to me.  

    Traumatic wound?  reddness?  naa…    Maybe does not happen to a victim that is shot and dies right away,  but the  tissue of a wounded individual likely reacts a bit different then one that stops functioning…

    And to willingly shoot oneself IN a place that is hard to see and reach,  and possibly screw it up and end up with a life threatening wound in the middle of nowhere is not logical.

    But,  then again…….I am no “forensic expert”  8^)

    • Rynski says:

      thanks for your analysis – esp the part about shooting self nicely in the back. usually when wounds are self inflicted they are in the stomach or opposite arm that the person writes with – at least the ones i’ve read about.
      back is a new one!

    • fraser007 says:

      Anybody ask if the “experts” who are questioning this have an agenda? Probably owned by the Open Borders folks. experts can be bought..they can also be a bunch of lefty types too.

  2. leftfield says:

    The outcome of the investigation will likely have some bearing on Purrol’s career plans, but not on much else.  Regarding the larger issue, most people’s POV is set in cement.  We could see some interesting new and wild conspiracy theories come out of this though.   

    • JoeS says:

      Oh I’m sure that if test results show that the wound was not inflicted at contact distances there will be plenty of excuses and wild theories about how this was a manufactured incident.

      If it is found out with rock solid proof that he manufactured the incident I will be the first to hang em……figuratively of course..

    • Rynski says:

      always dig new and exciting conspiracy theories myself – in fact, i try to create or at least believe a new one every day – hahahhaha

  3. Hoosier Woman says:

    He shot himself in the back? Was he shot with a handgun or something longer? I dont know, I dont believe anyone would be stupid enough to shoot themselves and risk their life.

    • JoeS says:

      “He shot himself in the back?”

      It has been known to happen,   I seem to recall one of the Clinton era “friends of Bill” suicides that was a shotgun blast to the back of the head….    8^/

  4. Oakland says:

    Just get the C.S.I crew out here from Vegas, they will solve it in an hour.

  5. Beans says:

    I have a couple of questions… Generally speaking, with a seasoned law enforcement officer out in the middle of the desert clearly “tracking” or “observing” illegal activity…Why in the world did officer Purroll not have his bullet proof vest on?  If he clearly knew that these were armed individuals and followed them for miles, why was he not prepared?  Second, why was he merely wearing just a t’shirt? I have yet to see an officer on duty in a t-shirt?  Just wondering…any answers?

  6. JoeS says:

    “any answers?”

    LV 3a vest is worthless against rifle calibers,  one would need to add rifle rated plates to use in conjunction with the 3a vest.  The 3a vest alone can be constricting/hot enough,  add in the heavy plates and you are no longer an effective scout/observer.   I doubt the Deputy had any intention of initiating contact himself,   AND at the time it was VERY uncommon for the smugglers to actually defend their load let alone initiate contact themselves………….caca pasa.

    As far as wearing a t-shirt,  this would not be uncommon for an LEO attached to a non road special detail that has little to no public contact.   T-shirt or no t-shirt he still has his credentials and the authority that goes along with them.   I recall someone once telling me that they were going to fight a speeding ticket from DPS because the DPS trooper was not wearing his trooper hat when he issued the ticket….. LOL

  7. radmax says:

    Odd little tale here Rynski…it appears to be a deep graze wound. It could be self inflicted, consistant with a right armed man…but to what end? Seems every time an officer is wounded out in the sticks the conspiracy theorists pop up.
    The officer is very lucky that bullet was not a few degrees more towards his kidney.

  8. AZ KID says:

    The medical examiners which are said to be experts in gun shot wounds in other news papers implies Purolls statement of being shot from 25 yards away was not true and his wound was made from a gun inches away.  In addition other police reports state there were no fresh AK47 bullet casings found in the area.  I find it very strange that an off duty sheriffs deputy would be tracking drug smugglers at night in that isolated area in plain clothes in his personal vehicle off the record without at least reporting his activities and position before the shooting.  There are too many safety and policy mistakes here.  I hope Mr. Puroll isn’t involved in drug trafficking himself.  If he is, please don’t paint him as a hero because he’s in law enforcement.

  9. Santiago says:


    Arizona Desert Shooting Missing Mystery Shirt. Where is the long sleeve shirt Deputy Puroll should have been wearing?
    Watch to the end to see the potential smoking shirt.



    The Pinal County Deputy Arizona Desert Shootout – The Truth Revealed!
    See what really happened!



  10. JoeS says:

    So who is doing the first story on the test results?

  11. JoeS says:

    So will an indepth investigative blogging  journalist seek comment from the forensic experts that now have egg on their face?

    Still waiting for the Citizen story on the GSR test results………

    • Rynski says:

      hey joes –
      i’m off until next week but would be glad to work on it then. thanks for prodding.

      • JoeS says:

        Just seems no one wants to discuss the results of the test that supports the Deputies version of events. 

        Just like he said in his blistering press conference….truth only sells once,  conspiracy sells over and over…

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