PHOENIX -- Doctors have upgraded the condition of a Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputy who was shot in the line of duty early Tuesday morning. Wednesday evening MCSO said Deputy Ruben Garcia was in critical but stable condition after undergoing a surgery that doctors said went “well.”
Meanwhile, Garcia’s older brother spoke for the first time about how this is hitting the family.
“It's like anything -- you don't expect it but when you get a phone call that early you expect the worst,” Alifonzo Garcia, the deputy's older brother said. “Up until today we've never taken in mind the risk that my brother has gone through and all the fellow officers that work with him.”
The danger of the job was at its height when Garcia was walking up to Donald Miller's vehicle in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. Garcia had pulled Miller over because his girlfriend had called the cops to say Miller was threatening both her and himself with a weapon.
Miller apparently used that weapon on Garcia before leading Peoria police and MCSO deputies on a chase that would eventually end with Miller's death. Officials have yet to confirm whether he was killed by officer's bullets or his own.
Garcia hasn't been able to speak yet. Doctors are keeping him sedated.
For now it’s a waiting game with everyone cautiously optimistic.
“We want everybody to know we're deeply touched by everybody's concern. We've had such a great outpouring on behalf of the community,” Alifonzo Garcia said.