TUCSON, AZ — A Pima County Sheriff’s Deputy is recovering from severe injuries to his spinal cord and other parts of his body after being stabbed by a teen who was shot and killed during the incident.
The incident started on the night of March 12 around 6:30 p.m. near South Kinney and Ajo Way in Tucson. That's when a 911 call came in about a male who was making threats saying he wanted to “kill them with a pair of scissors."
Minutes later, Pima County Sheriff’s Deputy Eduardo Toral arrived at the scene and that’s where he encountered a 17-year-old Zakareya Ibrahim. According to investigators, Ibrahim threw a rock at the patrol car and while the deputy was getting out of the car, he was attacked by Ibrahim. The deputy was reportedly stabbed multiple times in his spine, face, and shoulder. Pima County Sheriff Chris Nanos says it's a tragedy in every way.
"He is still suffering from paralysis of the lower extremities," Nanos said. "He struggles with feeling his legs, his right side is suffering where he can't grip with his right hand, so he's got a battle. His 25th birthday is next week, we pray that he’s okay."
During the attack, a second deputy arrived and shot Ibrahim, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
"It's becoming more and more common regarding mental health and what we see out there," Nanos said. "There's no doubt this young man suffered with mental health issues that I'm sure played a role in this. We're being prayerful for not just our deputy but also the family who lost their son. It's tragic on all fronts there's no win in this."
Deputy Toral is a one-year veteran of the department and deputy Taylor Dunn who fired the shots is a three-year veteran.
At this point, the Pima County Regional Critical Incident Team was activated to investigate the case. It's also the first case investigated by the team since it was formed a year ago.
“We just want to be as transparent as we can,” Nanos said. "Allow the other agencies to do their job, trust they will do it well. Then when they are done with that, present to the community the county attorney’s office their findings."
The Pima County Sheriff's Department will also conduct a separate internal affairs investigation once the critical incident team is done with its investigation, the internal investigation is protocol for the department.
Shawndrea Thomas is an anchor and investigative reporter for KGUN 9. Shawndrea is living her dream as a journalist who’s passionate about making a difference. Share your story ideas and important issues with Shawndrea by emailing email@example.com or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.