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Deputy’s live-in girlfriend dies after being shot in chest

The live-in girlfriend of a Pima County sheriff’s deputy apparently shot herself in the chest early this morning. The incident was initially called in to authorities as a suicide.

Pima County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. James Ogden said the 21-year-old woman and Deputy Luis Lopez were celebrating the holiday with family and friends at a home in the 2900 block of West Holiday. They had been arguing throughout the festivities.

At about 3:30 a.m., the woman shot herself in the chest, he said. Alcohol was a major factor in the incident, Ogden said.

Detectives are investigating the death as “suspicious” until further details are learned.

Deputy Lopez was hired Jan. 22, 2006 and was assigned to the Green Valley division. He is on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

The woman won’t be publicly identified until her family is notified of her death.

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