UPDATE: Deputy Louie Puroll's Strange Shooting Case Takes Another Odd Turn

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Got a text message last night from a law-enforcement pal who wrote, "If I meet you at a truck stop, can I be placed on paid leave?"

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Pinal County Deputy Louie Puroll getting his agency's "Purple Heart" at a D-Backs game last May.
​Nice one.

On a more serious note, news that Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu yesterday ordered an internal investigation into troubling statements made to me by his deputy Louie Puroll was a big deal last night in the local media.

Babeu also suspended Puroll with pay pending completion of the internal affairs probe.

The deputy's comments and a lot more appeared in our Thanksgiving Week story "Whitewash," which was a follow-up to "Pinalcchio," our first piece on the Puroll desert shooting case. 

 The stories are linked here and here.



I did some local TV stuff last night, including a live interview with Kari Lake over at Fox-10 that went okay.

Basically repeated what I had told Louie at the truck stop when he mentioned the alleged proposition to him from a buddy, i.e. the friend would kill me for having written "Pinalcchio" if he (Puroll) wished. (The deputy claimed he had talked his pal--allegedly a Latino rancher--out of doing anything stupid like that.)

I asked Louie why he had told me that.

He said that he just thought I'd like to know that a lot of people were pissed at "Pinalcchio," as if the incessant nasty calls, comments and E-mails hadn't given me a clue.

But I didn't get a chance to repeat on air what I've been saying since coming up for air after reporting the now-fabled April 30 shooting incident in remote Vekol Valley: I don't know what happened out there that afternoon, but I'm pretty sure it didn't go down the way the deputy has suggested.

I've told Deputy Puroll that same thing on at least three occasions--after his press conference at which Sheriff Babeu "closed" the case because a state crime lab didn't find any gunshot residue on the deputy's bloody T-shirt, which, to the sheriff, proved that Puroll hadn't shot himself.
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Paul Rubin
Louie Puroll in the Vekol Valley, November 2010

As it turns out, the deputy and I spoke very cordially during our extended interviews, even though we weren't exactly operating on the same page. I enjoyed the back-and-forth and I'm pretty sure he did, too.

That said, Puroll's off-the-cuff comment to me about having been approached at the Eloy truck stop a bunch of times by purported members of the infamous "Mexican cartels" was a doozie.

It took on even greater significance because the deputy also told he hadn't reported any of the alleged would-be bribes to his agency--whose highly visible sheriff has become nationally known because of his staunch opposition to illegal immigration and the drug and people-smuggling that come along with it.

The Arizona Republic did a take on the Puroll suspension (with pay) story this morning, which
is linked here.

Dennis Wagner, who wrote it, is as grizzled a veteran of the journalism wars as I, and has done some fine work over the years.

But I would be remiss not to point out a boo-boo in his short piece.

Wagner writes, "In the latest story, Puroll reportedly told Rubin that he'd been in other shootouts that make the Vekol Valley even seem "like eating lunch at Dairy Queen."

Actually, the deputy made the DQ remark at his October press conference in Florence, the one where Babeu "cleared" him of wrongdoing. 

When I was sitting at the Eloy truck stop with Puroll for four hours in early November, he regaled me at one point with a tale of another shootout, this one said to be at a gold mine in west Africa where he said he worked for a time in the 1980s.

He told he had gone "Western" on some would-be robbers, and I asked him if that's what he had meant at the presser by the Dairy Queen reference.

Puroll said it had.

Anyway, it will be interesting as always to see how this story continues to morph.  

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'm not saying one side or the other, but I will expand on my past personal experience's with Officer Puroll.

A group of 6 of us was riding ATV's out in the Queen Valley area, it's been about 9 or 10 years ago, on MLK day to be exact. I was leading the group back down the montana mountain loop. (A LEGAL ATV/OHV Use road as per Forest service rules) when Officer Puroll was coming in the opposite direction. He stopped in the middle of the road, just over the crest of the hill and turned on his lights. We were doing about 25mph toward him, when he did this. He made us all pull over and shut off the ATV's and remove our helmets. His first words were the "Everyone of you owes Pinal County $1000 each" when I asked why he explained we were riding illegally on this road. He then explained we needed to have plates on our ATV's. I asked what made him think that we didn't since they are on the back of the bikes, and he was driving toward us. Now mind you we were not a bunch of hooligans tearing down the trail. My wife and I were the youngest around 30 yo, and the rest of the group were all retired friends of ours. Me and my wife had registered MC plates on the atv, the rest of the group either had the RV plates or No plate, but either way we were legal as the road does not require MC plates (I've verified it with the forest service). He then preceded to explain that the reason he carries body bags in his truck was because of the ATVers, and how he just pulled a guy out of that area the week before (ummm, I never heard about it, and neither had anyone else) Also that ATV's were going to be outlawed and that we should sell them now while we still can. Hmmm it's been 10 years now, still legal Mr. Puroll...

Look I'm not saying I don't respect the guy for going out and enforcing the laws, I actually like that he does patrol the back roads, we need more of that. And also this is not the only time I've seen him (and talked to him) on the back roads. I'm just saying the guy isn't a bit scared to talk a bunch of crap, use scare tactics, etc. This has been my personal experiences with him. I just think that it was EXTREMELY unprofessional, and that he could have done things in a different manner. I mean seriouly, 4 retired people doing 25mph down the wide road, does not seem like a hazard situation to me, and then state that he was "Going to let us go" because he didn't feel like doing the paperwork is crap. We were not breaking the law, and he stopped us before he checked for the plates.


Well, well, Mr. Rubin. It appears you have really caused a ruckus! LOL!

Great job!!!

Next, can you ask Babeu how that investigation into Arpaio and Company at MCSO is going? He's had the matter in hand for a couple of months now. I'm dying of curiosity regarding his progress on this issue! Or has he been too busy trying to sweep Louie under the rug to have time to try to sweep Double Dippin Dave under it?


congrats on a great story and follow up,,, way to hang in there Paul and expose dog shit when you first smell it.... I have had numerous run ins with Puroll in the desert. I am a legal citizen and no, i was not trafficing drugs. This nut case Puroll has hassled me over petty matters while I either: run, hike, mountain bike, and motorcyle ride in Pinal county. This idiot once put on his red/blue lights on in an unmarked 4X4 pick up truck, while I was on a bicycle. Gee, I dont think I am going to get away... I had to show a state land permit and this idiot threated to impound my bicycle. Bad things happen to bad people. Real shit happens to bad people who lie and threaten the general public. I cant wait after the clown is fired or forced to resign and then meet him in a local truckstop diner or out in the desert without the M-16. Good story and good riddens to deputy Rambo.


I'm not suprised about Louie Puroll, he is a money hungry little grub. Is the Sheriff is stupid enought to believe we don't know they are in this together, then he underestimates the people of Pinal County. I'll bet you the Sheriff comes back and states again "there is no merit to this case". I know Louie all to well he has a loud mouth and doesnt know when to just shut up. Ever since I met him ( 10 years ago ) he has talked on & on about how much he hates his mother-in-law and can't wait for her to die so his wife can inharit her money and they can leave here and have a better life. Personaly I hope the little twirp ends up in jail, where his wife now works.But if him and BooBoo are in this together, and I think they are they should both end up in jail, where they can enjoy what BooBoo likes to stick it in. Maybe they are already doing it, in and out in and out......................


"weren't exactly operating on the same page" ?????

I think not. You and your "grizzled veterans" of wordsmithing - the create your own reality set - are destined to not be on the same page as a just the facts law enforcement person.

I sure do miss the days of just the facts journalism instead of this he said she said hearsay passing as news.

I think there is a huge market for getting back to the facts and leaving the interpretation for the editorial page only and I am waiting for the day.

Ed from Dedham
Ed from Dedham

Dennis Wagner's error was relying on Gaffney's press release, which was misleading on the point. Babeu gave every appearance of approving of Puroll's comment two months ago when he made it, but now evidently has changed his mind. There should at least be no need for a drawn-out Internal Affairs investigation into whether he said it. If anyone's in doubt, they can consult the videotape, or ask Babeu.

The Internal Affairs investigators


The game is up Louie. Say goodbye to your career you fucking clown. You are now getting the attention you have been craving. What a fucking retard.


It's about time someone looked into Deputy Purroll's tall tales. I worked with him many years ago in the Pinal County Jail. He spun many yarns about his exploits and always was working a case against one of the other jailers who was a crook or on the take. I don't remember any of his stories bearing fruit. The guy is a nut case.

Johnny White Man
Johnny White Man

Oh and btw, they really oughta strip that lying POS of his purple heart medal. Its a big disgrace to the real LEOs who earned it.

Johnny White Man
Johnny White Man

Yup, I say you've been getting alot of nasty "comments". Check out the ABC15's comment section. We know there's alot of arpaio ass kissers there. So its not surprising to see that sort of ninconpoop there.

Can't wait to see what turns out in this so called "internal investigation" by Babeu. But I would suggest that he do the right thing, by firing that lying sack of shit. Fire his ass, Babeu!

The man is clearly sick in the head, just like our rogue law dawg=arpaio.


I'm glad to see he isn't singling me out on the back roads. He he. That's awesome, riding your bike in the desert and get pulled over! I wonder if he pulls over horse back riders?


These aren't "facts"? I LOVE that claim when there is a recording to back up exactly what he put in the story... I also get a kick out of the claim that the FIRST story wasn't based on facts, although all the reporter did was ask questions. He stated what the deputy had claimed(I'm assuming that you consider those to be "facts".), he then went on to ask questions, such as 'If there were indeed three men with heavy backpacks and guns, why were no backpacks, guns or men found by the 200 officers who quickly converged on the scene?'. See, that's a QUESTION, not a FACT. Jesus, I don't know WHY you people can't figure this shit out. If the story had said "Deputy Puroll bought 60 pounds of pot from these guys, shot them in the heads, and then staged their bodies to look like they had died in a gunbattle with him, storing the pot in his car before calling in the incident.", THAT would be lies, but saying 'There are a lot of questions about this, is it possible that Deputy Puroll may have been out in the desert for other reasons than patrolling? Is he perhaps in the pay of the drug cartels, or was he possibly trying to rip off these drug dealers?', THOSE ARE FUCKING QUESTIONS. Get it through your thick skulls people.


What you want to bet those shell casings of Purroll's were on the ground because that's how many he had to fire before his grazed himself!

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