Detention Officer Murdered Outside Of Home

August 09, 2013

A Maricopa County Sheriff's Detention Officer was killed outside his home early Thursday as he worked on his car. Sheriff Joe Arpaio says 27-year-old Officer Jorge Vargas may or may not have been targeted because of his job.

“It’s not an easy job working in the jail system,” Arpaio said. “You’ve got a lot of bad guys in there. Some of them don’t like my office or the Sheriff. I could go on and on, but I’m not saying that’s the reason for this murder.”

Phoenix police, who are investigating the case, say there is no one in custody. Vargas was an eight-year veteran who worked in the jail's food factory, but often came into contact with inmates.

Ironically, the murder came on the day after the sheriff provided each of his patrol deputies a new, semi-automatic AR-15 style rifle and ordered them to carry a weapon, even when they're off duty. Arpaio says the new rifles will ensure his officers can match the firepower of the criminals they're chasing.