(Source: CBS 5 News) A Maricopa County sheriff's deputy was seriously wounded early Tuesday morning after a shooting with a motorist in Peoria.
Police are unsure if Donald Miller Sr., died from wounds during the shootouts or took his own life.
Deputy Ruben Garcia, a 29-year veteran with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, was seriously wounded in a shooting Tuesday morning.
PEORIA, AZ (CBS5) -
Dramatic 911 calls released Wednesday provide new insight into Tuesday morning's shooting that left a Maricopa County Sheriff's deputy fighting for his life.
Deputy Ruben Garcia, a 29-year veteran with MCSO, was shot during a traffic stop near 83rd Avenue and Deer Valley Road shortly after midnight.
MCSO spokesman Sgt. Brandon Jones said Garcia is in critical but stable condition as of Wednesday night.
"It's our hope and prayer that he returns home safely in the near future," said MCSO Spokesman Chris Hegstrom.
"Up until today we've never really taken in mind the risks that my brother has gone through and all the fellow officers that work with him," Garcia's older brother, Alifonzo Garcia, told us.
Deputies said Ruben Garcia stopped a man in a truck whose girlfriend told officers he had threatened to hurt her, was possibly suicidal and was armed. The man was identified by Peoria police on Tuesday as 54-year-old Donald Miller Sr.
Miller opened fire seconds after the deputy pulled in behind him. The deputy was found on the ground by Peoria police who responded to the shooting. MCSO said the deputy was shot several times.
One of the witnesses called 911 dispatchers and said, "Oh my God, there's an officer down. He's just been shot."
Police said Miller drove away and Peoria police chased him into a desert area.
Miller and Peoria police also exchanged gunfire before a SWAT unit was called in, according to investigators. Officers said they tried to contact Miller, but heard no response, and later found him dead in the truck. Police said they were unsure if he died from wounds during the shootouts or took his own life.
Earlier that night, Ruben Garcia took a report from a woman who called 911 to say her niece was being harassed by Miller.
The caller told the dispatcher that her niece had not yet had a chance to take out an order of protection against the man.
But court records show in the past 10 years at least two women have filed protection orders against him. The most recent was filed by Miller's ex-wife about six months ago in June 2012.
"When you get a phone call that early you automatically expect the worst," Alifonzo Garcia said.
He and his family are trying to stay positive during this difficult time. He told us he still hasn't seen his brother, who is sedated, by choice.
"It brings us to the point where we remember the things that are important in these times such as family," Alifonzo Garcia said.
We're told Ruben Garcia had surgery Wednesday and that it went well.
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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