Ariz. pursuit ends in fatal shootout, suspect killed
2 suspects jumped out of their car and shot at the deputy, who returned fire, killing one man and injuring another with gunshots to his leg and arm
By Brian Skoloff
PHOENIX — An early morning armed robbery at an Arizona adult boutique Monday ended in a shootout with a sheriff's deputy that left one ex-convict dead and another injured, authorities said.
The two suspects entered the business at about 6 a.m., tied up a female employee and fled with a safe and cash from the register, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said.
The woman was able to escape and call 911 with a description of the suspects' car.
A short time later, a Pinal County sheriff's deputy spotted the vehicle on Interstate 10 about 80 miles south of Phoenix and a chase ensued at speeds exceeding 110 mph, authorities said.
The suspects turned off the interstate onto Highway 87 south of Eloy and collided with the deputy's vehicle in a field.
Babeu said the two suspects jumped out of their car and shot at the deputy, who returned fire, killing one man and injuring another with gunshots to his leg and arm.
The suspect still attempted to flee on foot, but the deputy was able to subdue and arrest him.
Authorities said Monday night that Adam Chavez, 23, was being treated at an area hospital for gunshot wounds. His condition wasn't immediately released, and authorities didn't know if he had a lawyer yet.
Chavez was released from an Arizona prison last year after serving eight months for theft and endangerment, according to sheriff's officials.
They identified the dead suspect as Matthew Clowers, 32, who served 10 years in an Arizona prison for armed robbery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and was released in 2009.
Babeu said the safe was found unopened in the car, and Clowers had a large amount of cash on him, likely taken from the boutique's register. Authorities also believe the suspects were monitoring the pursuit with their own police scanner.
Babeu said the clerk at the store, which does brisk business just off I-10, "is lucky to be alive."
A person who answered the phone Monday at the M Passion Adult Boutique declined comment.
The deputy is a seven-year veteran of the force who is assigned to patrol but also works for the agency's SWAT and search and rescue teams.
His name and age hadn't yet been released. Babeu called him a "model of fitness and of discipline."
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