The announcement came Friday, a day after a local detention officer was shot and killed in his driveway.
According to KPHO-TV, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has ordered his deputies to carry AR-15 assault rifles at all times. This announcement was made on Friday, following the shooting death of 27-year-old Jorge Vargas, a local detention officer who had worked in the Maricopa County prison system for more than 7 years, on Thursday morning.
At a public unveiling of the 400 firearms purchased by the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department on Friday, which officials said had been scheduled before the fatal attack, Sheriff Arpaio said, “Should any off-duty deputy come across a crime being committed, it is the policy of this office for that deputy to take the appropriate action to resolve the situation.”
KNXV-TV reports that Vargas was in his driveway in the early morning before work, “tinkering” with his truck when he was shot by an unidentified man witnesses saw fleeing the scene. A neighbor told KNXV that she saw Vargas bleeding from the throat when she ran to his side after he was shot.
At a press conference on Thursday Arpaio told reporters, “We don’t appreciate people killing our deputy sheriffs and officers that work in the jail system. Watch out, we’re ready for battle and going to take whatever action we need.”