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Cops: Man refuses to stop; officer kills him

Tucson police investigate the scene of an apparent officer-involved shooting Thursday afternoon on the 700 block of North San Rafael Avenue.

Tucson police investigate the scene of an apparent officer-involved shooting Thursday afternoon on the 700 block of North San Rafael Avenue.

A Tucson police officer shot and killed a 32-year-old man shortly after noon Thursday on the West Side.

Officer Claude Ralls, a 26-year veteran, was put on paid leave under standard protocol, police spokeswoman Lt. Claudette Gross said.

Ralls was on patrol near North Silverbell and West St. Mary’s roads when he spotted a white Chevrolet Malibu that was connected to an armed robbery, spokesman Sgt. Fabian Pacheco said.

The car was parked in a carport at 706 N. San Rafael Ave., a house that was under investigation because of reports of drug activity there, police said.

Ralls blocked the driveway with his marked patrol car while calling for backup on the radio, Pacheco said. Before more officers arrived, a man came out of the house and got in the Malibu, police said.

The man tried to drive off while Ralls, handgun drawn, commanded him to stop and get out of the car, Pacheco said.

When the man didn’t stop, Ralls shot him. The man died Thursday afternoon at a hospital, Pacheco said.

Police detained eight people at the house, he said. Five were taken to jail on arrest warrants. Three had misdemeanor warrants, one had a juvenile warrant and another was wanted on a felony charge. Police did not immediately identify those arrested.

Police did not release the 32-year-old dead man’s name pending notification of kin.

The shooting is being investigated by detectives in the Crimes Against Persons Division and the Office of Professional Standards, Pacheco said. The results of those probes will be reviewed by the Pima County Attorney’s Office and a police board of inquiry.

Hector Vargas, who was riding his bicycle on Silverbell Road during the shooting, said he heard five shots.

Office Claude Ralls on the beat in 2006.

Office Claude Ralls on the beat in 2006.

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