5 TPD Officers Fatally Shoot Suspected Bank Burglar


Five Tucson Police Officers shot and killed suspected bank robber Santiago Avila at the Wells Fargo Bank located at 145 E. 22nd St. on Friday, April 18.

Here is the official press release from TPD:

On April 17, 2014 at 1:37 p.m., officers from Operations Division Downtown responded to a report of an armed robbery in progress at the Wells Fargo Bank located at 145 East 22nd Street. An employee advised 911 that the bank was being robbed, the suspect was still inside and he was armed with a handgun. The employee was able to give a description of the suspect as officers were responding. As officers arrived, a suspect matching the description given over the radio exited the front door of the bank armed with a handgun. He immediately went back inside but came back out about one minute later. Officers gave him multiple commands to stop and drop the weapon. The suspect failed to comply with the officer’s orders and walked to a blue Jeep Cherokee parked in front of the bank. The suspect opened the door to the vehicle and retrieved a box of ammunition from inside of it. He then began to walk back towards the front door of the bank with a handgun in one hand and a box of ammunition in the other. Officers continued to give verbal commands for the suspect to stop and drop the weapon, however he did not comply and continued walking towards the front door of the business. Realizing the danger of an armed robbery suspect re-entering the bank and fearing for the safety of the citizens inside, the officers discharged their weapons, striking the suspect. Officers immediately began to render first aid until the arrival of the Tucson Fire Department. The suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene. Neither the officers nor the 16 citizens inside the bank were injured during the incident.

Detectives from the Homicide, Aggravated Assault and Robbery Units responded to continue the investigation. They examined physical evidence at the scene and interviewed the officers involved as well as over 20 witnesses. The identity of the suspect was confirmed, however his name is being withheld pending notification of the next of kin. Detectives are identifying him as a 35-year old male with associations to both Tucson and California. They also discovered that the suspect had an active felony warrant out of California for Assault on a Peace Officer and Escape. Detectives confirmed the blue Jeep Cherokee in the parking lot belonged to the suspect.

Here are the five officers involved in the shooting:

A total of five Tucson Police Officers fired their weapon during the shooting:
-Officer Jeffry Dellinger, a 23-year veteran.
-Officer Pablo Camargo, a 16-year veteran.
-Officer Randy Lucero, a 15-year veteran.
-Officer Oscar Ramos, a 13-year veteran.
-Officer Daniel Martinez, 7-year veteran.
All five officers have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol in all officer involved shootings.