NEAR MESA, AZ — The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has been tight-lipped about the investigation into the deadly deputy-involved shooting of a man with a rifle in the East Valley. Chris Love recorded the entire standoff Monday afternoon. See witness video of the incident in the player above. *WARNING: The footage may be considered graphic by some viewers.*
"Never, not once did I see him (the person shot) point the gun. He walked back and forth to his truck, and then he came back out with both hands out, with a phone in one hand and a bottle in the other," he said. Chris was approximately 200 feet away from Pedro and the deputies who were surrounding him outside near his truck.
"He was drunk, he laid in the ground at the very end before they shot him, he sat back up...he's crying because he knows death by cop," Love added. "It's hard, it's hard to see that because anybody could be put in that position where they are put to a point of just mental breakdown."
On Tuesday, the sheriff's office didn't add any new information about the shooting and hasn't officially released the victim's name. We know from scene video he is referred to as 'Pedro' by a family member trying to talk to him over a loudspeaker.
ABC15 reached out to Sheriff Paul Penzone for a statement from him regarding the way deputies handle mental health calls. The sheriff's office did not respond during business hours, though Penzone broadly addressed the issue last month after deputies shot and killed Juan Torres in Rainbow Valley after he threw a wrench.
"It is a requirement by AZPOST by certification a 2-hour block be delivered at the academy, to deal with people who are in circumstances of distress, irrational, either drug-induced or other factors," said Sheriff Penzone at a news conference about the shooting held April 17th. He added that his deputies receive twice the requirement.
Penzone added that these types of calls are "probably the most unpredictable."