FBI to Investigate Fatal Shooting of Suspect by a Pinal County Sheriff's Deputy

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Manuel Longoria, with his hands in the air, moments before a PCSO deputy shoots and kills him.
Federal officials will investigate the fatal shooting last month of a suspect by a Pinal County Sheriff's deputy after the man led law enforcement officers on a nearly hour-long car chase.

Manuel Longoria, shot in the street on January 14, wouldn't obey officers' commands at the scene. He told police he had a gun, although one was never found.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has said his deputy, identified by New Times sources and other media outlets as Heath Rankin, was justified in the shooting.

A PCSO spokesman previously told us he couldn't confirm or deny whether Rankin was the shooter because of threats that have been made to the deputy's life.

See also:
-Video: Pinal County Sheriff's Deputy Fatally Shoots Man Who Had His Hands in the Air
-Florence Exposed, a New Times investigative series

The Sheriff's Office will conduct two investigations into the incident -- first a criminal investigation and, when that's complete, a professional-standards investigation, says Tim Gaffney, a PCSO spokesman.

Gaffney says the criminal investigation of the deputy involving the shooting of suspect Longoria will be submitted to the Pinal County Attorney's Office for review.

"We have been in contact with the FBI and they will be reviewing our deputy involved shooting, once the investigation has been completed. In society, law enforcement holds a sacred trust with the public that must be safeguarded. We welcome this review of lethal force by the FBI," Sheriff Babeu said in a statement.

Babeu's public statements justifying the shooting were complicated after video of the incident, including the shooting, taken by bystanders was aired. It showed the suspect with his hands in the air when the deputy fired his fatal shots.

The Eloy police officers who were involved in the chase and at the scene didn't fire their weapons.

They "acted appropriately" during the incident, says Bill Pitman, Eloy police chief for 13 years. Eloy officers fired bean-bag rounds and used a Taser in attempts to subdue Longoria.

"We don't consider this a successful outcome because someone lost their life," Pitman says. "That's not to say it wasn't justified, but that's not what police set out to do."

Babeu, in Washington, D.C. at the time of the shooting, defended his deputy's actions, and said publicly that he would have shot the suspect sooner.

Keep in mind that "sooner" -- right before the fatal shots were fired -- the Eloy police officers on the scene, just feet away from the suspect, opted for non-lethal means to gain control of the situation.

CBS 5 reporter Morgan Loew first aired the video taken by nearby residents who watched the drama unfold just outside their front yards.

That video shows that Longoria had his hands in the air when he was shot by the PCSO deputy. The news station also obtained radio traffic from the day of the shooting, in which the deputies were told to back off the car chase.

The deputy who fired his gun apparently didn't.

"It's inside the Eloy PD," the commander said, according to tapes of police radio traffic. "That's their area. If they choose to continue, that's fine. But we're going to go ahead and back out at this point."

Gaffney said the PCSO was called to assist Eloy with the pursuit of a stolen vehicle. He reported that the suspect said he had a gun and wouldn't be taken alive, and also rammed three patrol vehicles with his auto during the pursuit.

"At one point, a PCSO lieutenant told all of our deputies to terminate the pursuit and stage in the city of Eloy so they could assist when the pursuit ended," Gaffney says. "All but one of our deputies went to a corner, stopped and waited with a PCSO sergeant until the pursuit ended. The one deputy who did not stop was in an unmarked PCSO vehicle and was on the Eloy Police frequency when the order was given; therefore he didn't hear it."

What's troubled some observers is that Babeu's office is investigating its own -- even after the sheriff clearly reached the conclusion that his officer was justified in the shooting.

Retired Mesa police officer Bill Richardson shared his views on the incident in the East Valley Tribune:

It's not the sheriff's job to take sides when there's an officer involved shooting, nor is it his place to improperly influence the outcome of an investigation by his deputies with his public proclamations.

Having investigated officer-involved shootings and homicides, I can assure you they're best done with the precision of a surgery, and when all the facts are in before a decision is made whether or not the shooting was legal and within departmental policy.

The final determination of whether or not this Rankin's was legal and justified is reserved for Pinal County Attorney Lando Voyles, not Babeu.

Babeu would do well to return to having outside investigations into shootings involving his deputies, especially after his rush to judgment regarding Rankin's actions and the newly found evidence that Longoria may have been surrendering when killed.

Having Voyles involved doesn't inspire confidence given that he and Babeu share a special political bond.

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73 comments
taxintim
taxintim

BULLSHIT!  I could have put 3 shots on target in the one second after the suspect surrendered. ”Real world”.  One second is a long, long time. Consider that u r moving 110 feet per second at 75 MPH. 


Even an old lady can react to changing circumstance in way less than 1 second. And yes her life does depend on it.


If Deputy Pit-bull cannot react several times in -  ONE … MISSISSIPPI - then he is a DANGER TO Society .


Please respond you idiot lying defending fools: How did Deputy Pit-bull even get to the scene driving 100 MPH if he had a greater than "- one …. Mississippi-"  reaction time. He Could not have. He could not cross the street if this were true BULLSHIT and you know it.

DNichols
DNichols

With Sheriff Babeu's sexual Deviate History it is probably quite scary for any one, especially Hispanic's  to turn thier back side towards Babeu or any Pinal County Sheriffs Deputies?!

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

I'm not sure what the value of a citizens committee in an oversight role might be. I suppose it would be good for them to see all the facts and circumstances, as a jury would, and then tender an opinion.


I think it's always good to have investigators from other agencies, as a team, do a complete investigation of this type of shooting. Even when an agency is fair and complete in their investigation there is always the opportunity for someone to point a finger at the agency, saying they are 'protecting one of their own'. I've been involved from both sides in police shootings and have found a 'shoot team' to be a good tool.


I'm very disappointed that the sheriff in Pinal County doesn't bother to have another agency involved. You may recall when the infamous Vekol Valley incident occurred he originally asked DPS to handle the investigation and then two hours into it he decided to handle it within PCSO. Bottom line, PCSO never makes errors.... just like MCSO. Babeu learned from the best liar of all, the elderly elected official of MCSO.

Trommy
Trommy

There should be a citizens committee that investigate these types of things.Law enforcement agencies protect their own over all things.You will never get a fair assessment as long as they are doing the investigation.  Ask anyone that has worked around law enforcement.  If they are honest they will tell you the same thing.

vagabond545454
vagabond545454

One fact is video does not lie, human tongue does!:-)

vagabond545454
vagabond545454

If this killing was murder, anyone who tried to cover up this murder is guilty of aiding and abetting such crime, the sheriff might wish to consider resigning bet they hate this video surfaced post their internal exoneration of their pal!;-)

vagabond545454
vagabond545454

This officer is not long to be in law enforcement if he is lucky and beats a criminal charge/indictment he is going to be fired and his boss might find himself in criminal trouble for a cover up!

G Paul Hudak
G Paul Hudak

But... I thought cops could shoot whoever they want without fear of reprisal?

robert_graham
robert_graham

And by the way, when police say "Stop" they mean STOP!  It's not "pretty please STOP' it's STOP!!!!  So when suspect failed to do that so deputies did the right thing to stop him. Do you complende?

robert_graham
robert_graham

Deputies did nothing wrong when they shot the suspect. He should have never told police he had a gun.  But because he did police could only assume he would have used it. And I agree with Babeau that the suspect should have been shot sooner.  But had the suspect been white there would be no outrage over the shooting. These frivolous federal investigations must stop.

vagabond545454
vagabond545454

Karma is a funny thing, ask Russell Pearce! Ask Thomas and his cronies! Sometimes folks escape earthly penalty, punishment but one never escapes the final one, now that one does have a escape clause but it first requires one feel guilt, since without guilt one has no incentive to ask for forgiveness!

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

It's very odd to me that Pinal S.O. conducted it's own investigation of the shooting.


Professional law enforcement agencies across the country normally participate in multi-agency 'shoot' teams comprised of investigators who are tasked with investigating each fatal shooting as a homicide. It's curious to me that the sheriff there thinks his investigators are skilled enough to handle this level of investigation. But, then again, they deemed that Vekal Valley Louie was shot by a herd of bandits.


Secondly, once a homicide has occurred the county attorney has the duty and responsibility to conduct it's own review of the police involved shooting and to take action unless the homicide is determined to be justified.


If the county attorney doesn't feel it's skilled enough then a state or federal law enforcement agency should be brought in for a separate review.


That being said, I've watched the video many times over and it appears the subject who was killed was NOT a 'clear and present' danger to himself or anyone else. I was not able to see him with a gun or ANY weapon in his hand at any time in the video prior to being shot. It appears he actually was shot in the back as he was raising his hands in a gesture of surrender.


I don't buy the story offered by the sheriff that this was 'suicide by cop'. Those situations normally entail a weapon that is pointed toward someone else as a catalyst to have police officers shoot and kill. This situation doesn't appear to be that motive.


I am expecting criminal charges to be filed on the officer, honestly.


Jerry Cardenas
Jerry Cardenas

Alot of trigger happy mother fuckers out here in Az.

vagabond545454
vagabond545454

Arizona one day might have a movie made about this era, similar to the one made famous during the civil rights era, Mississippi Burning, the FBI to in that true story had to come in and clean up the corruption, much as it is doing now in New Jersey, good thing we do have these checks and balances or old Nixon would have truly gotten away with is crimes, he did get a pardon for resigning from his party, but doubt that was much comfort going down in history as a criminal, disgraced, dishonored and unless he repented before his demise he is in a truly unhappy place!

vagabond545454
vagabond545454

The reason law enforcement has tried to make such videos illegal is it totally breaks their code they think no one will question their integrity, honor or that they are above lying to save their tails! Human nature is to lie when having done wrong, it takes real  honor to own up to your mistakes obviously Pinal County is run by a scoundrel who gets on television preaches against illegals but keeps one his home as a lover, does not matter if it was male, law enforcement officers have been caught doing heterosexual similar acts abusing their power, office! Arizona has no higher law enforcement that is not corrupt right now, the attorney general is a corrupt lawyer who is banned for life from securities exchange, due to criminal activity, he got off lucky with this punishment! The things he has done in office to date only prove he is a scoundrel, hit and run, hiring his mistress on tax payer dime, him and Pinal County sheriff both let their libido's be satisfied by tax payers dime! In any event videos are priceless they do not lie, the human tongue does!

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

PCSO = trigger-happy homicidal cowards



donnied1
donnied1

Typical of Babeweee! to clear his guy before the dust even settles. Love how Sheriff Studboi says he would have shot the guy sooner, after town cops, in whose jurisdiction it was, we're using obvious restraint -- the guy had his freakin' hands up! Rankin... Rankin... Where have I heard that name before???

Richard Davenport
Richard Davenport

I really don't I think they will punish the officer for his actions. sheriff Arpaio of Maricopa Kenny was supposed to be investigated for embezzlement and theft by the pOmsk County Sheriff's Office. even though he stole over 55 million dollars nothing was ever done to him either. I personally believe the officers will cover each others backs, especially here in Arizona.

John Ryden
John Ryden

George Zimmerman's attorney would be proud!

DNichols
DNichols

Why don't the Feds investigate the two Hispanic's that were Ambushed, and Murdered by Camo Clad Vigilantees then Pinal County checked thier Papers?!

This could have been any one in Arizona!

Pinal County Sheriff's Office just said: it was local thugs out having fun?!

I think the Vigilantee Killers were Babeu's Pals?

Only two less Hispanic's right Babeu?

Seem's to be a pattern in Pinal County.

vagabond545454
vagabond545454

The video is worth a thousand words by Pinal county denial! Its simple and plain murder to shoot a unarmed defendant with his hands in the air! I guess the FBI having more honor, credibility will have to bring this matter to justice since that thick blue line in Pinal County is about as crooked as their gay sheriff!

robert_graham
robert_graham

@Trommy Investigate what? The only thing that any investigation will conclude is that deputies made the right decision to shoot him.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@Trommy  Agreed, it's nothing more than inter-department glad handing right now


While I agree (speaking for myself and as an ex LEO), I don't think it should be entirely citizens/civilians - I think it should be 2/3-1/3d - i.e. 2/3d citizens and 1/3 non-active duty LEO's


There are parts of the job of an LEO that citizens have no clue about and vice versa due to LEO training, however the emphasis needs to be on the citizenry and the law which is why I stack the deck in favor of the citizenry.


Every department should have such a group nationwide and such a group should investigate all officer related shootings and reports of officer misconduct.


Law Enforcement and it's officers need to remember they work for the people, they are not the 'masters' of the people.

robert_graham
robert_graham

They have the right to shoot to kill when their lives are put in danger.

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@robert_graham I spoke with an associate of mine recently and we were talking about your posts. She said you are very well known within her 'company'. Just so you know.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@robert_graham  You are so lame... can't even make it as an internet troll... 


My neighbors 4yr old trolls better than you do

FRONTERA
FRONTERA

@robert_graham A man should not be shot in the back with a AR-15, with his hands up in the air ,suspect had no weapon, come on Robert...

vagabond545454
vagabond545454

@robert_graham


Must drive you insane no one listens to you in FBI!:-) They investigate with impunity disobeying your orders!:-)

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@robert_graham  ROFL!!!!


Your trolling isn't even original anymore.... 


troll away... great comic relief

FRONTERA
FRONTERA

@robert_graham I was in PINAL CO. last week,could feel the backwardness. PINAL COUNTY NEEDSMORE  light shined  on the oldboy  corruption by the feds...and that fire down there at the elections  building  don't set right with me...

Trommy
Trommy

I'm pretty sure the Sherrif rallied for Voyles to become the County attourney.  I remember signs out there in Pinal stating that Paul Babeau supported him during the elections.  They ran together as a team.  Once you build your govt like that things seem to go your way more often.

There should be a true independent investigation for the sake of keeping things legit.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@vagabond545454  ... or Rizzo's reign of terror over the City of Philadelphia, which culminated in the AERIAL BOMBING of a civilian row home which then burned down an entire neighborhood.


PaulandoCounty
PaulandoCounty

@DonkeyHotay Sadly, penis-prompted Babeu has lowered the standards of his deputies to now being: PCSO - Police Community Support Officers.

He allowed his "punch in the face and then run" deputy Mueller resign instead of firing him.  Deputy Steele got a pass for his fatal collision since Babeu and his lapdog Voyles decided he did no wrong.

Pinal is a good county with good deputies but currently they are held hostage by the "Gaffe and Goober" comedy show.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@vagabond545454  

There's a delay between deciding to shoot and hearing the bang.

A delay while the officer takes careful aim to avoid bystanders.  During that time, his vision is focussed on his front sight, so there are no "take backs".


What matters is what the criminal was doing at the time the officer made the decision to shoot.  It appears from the video that he was reaching into the vehicle.


taxintim
taxintim

@robert_graham  That's what I Thought. Nobody can stand up to a little reason.....

See my one second equals 110 feet post above


 " I could not apply the brake because I was sooooo focused on the throttle." I was committed to the throttle action.  Pleeeease.   BULLSHIT. Murder. FUCK YOU Cold Blood Murderer Defender

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Robert, Tommy is a decorated Vietnam war and a professional law enforcement officer. I take his word over the Babbling Bald Idiot (and yours) every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@robert_graham If you were the victim of this homicide I'm fairly sure your mother would think it might be looked into, Jaffy. It must be very crowded in your little world.


DNichols
DNichols

@robertarpaio

Wich lives did you see "Put in Danger"?!

I think you just summed up that the man was Murdered?

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@Trommy You are correct about their team campaigning. I had forgotten that. Voyles has the duty and responsibility to conduct an independent review of the homicide. It's not likely that will happen. Interestingly, I have to wonder if the FBI investigation will delve into criminal charges, as well as Title 42 civil charges. I'm not sure what the extent of their involvement is going to be.

Slowriter59
Slowriter59

@DonkeyHotay @vagabond545454  I grew up under Rizzo, and went to school with Arlen Spector's kids. He's who I think of when I think of Arpiao, they're two peas in a pod.

vagabond545454
vagabond545454

@valleynative @vagabond545454


I find your excuse ironic, as a Vietnam era US Marine retired, I know quite well what one might experience in a fire fight under stress, but this situation is in video color, no hiding the fact the victim was shot unarmed hands in the air, no gun play even though his defenders will say so, this one is going to be decided by facts not emotions, not pro-police, anti-police rhetoric, I am not involved, got no dog in this fight, can use my eyes very well so can anyone else who saw this video, Pinal County first put out the story of reaching for the gun in vehicle till the video surfaced, law enforcement or anyone for that matter who thinks this video can be white washed with a internal cover up is not living in reality, now some slanted jury picked by law enforcement might get him off but that's his best hope, this is going to a trial!

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@valleynative @vagabond545454  


BULLSHIT - you are just making excuses... again.. and not even original, applicable or logical excuses... which again, is nothing new for you.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@robert_graham @Flyer9753 @Trommy  


How about if you go play in traffic and see if you get hit....


BTW - threatening someone is not grounds for deadly force, unless that person has a weapon.. oh wait.. no weapon found


It must really suck to be you, always wrong about everything, even basic facts.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@vagabond545454 @Flyer9753 @valleynative  


Why are you aiming this at me? I agree with you that the video is the smoking gun and it's not going away and I welcome the FBI investigators as from what I saw in the video, it was not a justified shoot.


Did you mean this for Valley by chance but replied to me instead?

vagabond545454
vagabond545454

@Flyer9753 @valleynative@vagabond545454


Guess the FBI investigators are delusional too, your so funny, all that pent up anger and fake intellectual rhetoric is amusing, the video speaks for itself, human beings tend to lie to avoid punishment for wrongs, the video is clearly going to be the deciding factor, law enforcement issued a no wrong decision prior to this video surfacing, its the smoking gun which is not going away!:-)

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@valleynative @vagabond545454  

"I'm really surprised that so many others don't seem to understand that simple and obvious fact. "


Delusional people like yourself are almost always incapable of understanding why no one thinks in their incoherent, incorrect babble 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@vagabond545454 @valleynative 

You're not using "ironic" correctly, and I wouldn't expect a soldier to have a very good idea of what it's like to be a cop. Very different rules regarding when to shoot.  I don't have any dog in this fight either, but I understand that decisions are always made before the action is seen.

I'm really surprised that so many others don't seem to understand that simple and obvious fact.

 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@valleynative  <== moron who thinks insurance pools should be comprised entirely of sick people.


LOL!


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@Flyer9753 @valleynative@vagabond545454 

You think it's instantaneous?  The officer thinks "shoot" and the bullet flies?

Ever even been to a shooting range?

The real world might be a big surprise to you.


Why in the world would a logical explanation be "original"?  You'll also have to explain how it's neither logical nor applicable, as it certainly seems to be both.


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