Friday’s shooting outside a sheriff’s office substation in Surprise, Arizona, was the second time a county deputy has come under fire this month, Arpaio said.
The sheriff said a gunman parked his car outside the substation and “fired several times” at a deputy, who escaped injury after positioning himself by a bullet-resistant door.
Another deputy in the substation parking lot arrested the suspect after getting him to drop his weapon, Arpaio said. The suspect had a semiautomatic weapon in addition to the gun used in the shooting, the sheriff said.
Why the shooter opened fire remains unclear. The sheriff’s department has identified the suspect as 38-year-old Jonathan Perez, who is being held on a $250,000 bond.
According to Arpaio, the unnamed officer was walking up to the door as the shots rang out. He probably would probably have died if it weren’t for the protection of the door, now riddled with bullets.
Officers searched Perez’s home and found anti-police themed music. The shooter also has a long history of arrests in Washington state for aggravated assault, the sheriff’s office said.
“There’s a war on cops,” the sheriff said. “This is twice against our deputies. Twice. So I take that very serious, and I’m going to do everything I can to stop this. They want a war? They’re going to have a war.”
“It’s sad. Sad for the families, but this is something that we do. I just hope the people of this county, city, across the nation understand what our law enforcement officers have to go through. These are very difficult times,” said Arpaio.