A man was shot by a law enforcement officer for the U.S. Forest Service after a marijuana grove was discovered Sunday on public land near Sunflower in northeastern Maricopa County, authorities said Monday.
The shooting occurred while officers were attempting to destroy about 3,100 plants that were spread over about a 4-acre area, said Paige Rockett, a spokeswoman for the Tonto National Forest.
They encountered four armed suspects, one of whom aimed a rifle at them, Rockett said. An officer fired three times and wounded the man, she said.
The 20-year-old suspect, whose name has not been released, was taken to a hospital with wounds that were not considered life-threatening, Rockett said. He was reported in stable condition Monday and was cooperating with authorities. The other three men fled and were the object of an overnight search, but have not been located.
The forest encompasses more than 50 ragged miles past Cave Creek, Scottsdale, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and all the way past Mesa and Apache Junction.