Man arrested in connection with suspicious vehicle in downtown Tucson

Man arrested in connection with suspicious vehicle in downtown Tucson

Credit: Kevin Adger, Fox 11 News

Suspicious vehicle command post in downtown Tucson at Stone/Broadway.


by Bob Richardson

Posted on September 28, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Updated Thursday, Sep 29 at 11:49 AM

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Tucson police closed downtown streets and evacuated buildings Wednesday after two bomb-sniffing dogs alerted to a white box truck parked near the U.S. Bankruptcy Court building at Broadway and Scott.

About 11 a.m. Wednesday, Tucson policed received a call from the U.S. Marshals about a suspicious white delivery truck.

The marshals reported seeing the truck being parked in the same spot at the corner of Broadway and Scott east of the Federal Bankruptcy Courthouse for several hours.

A bomb-sniffing dog was sent over to check it out. The dog showed interest in the vehicle.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department was notified and a K9 unit was sent to the scene. The second dog also showed interest in the vehicle.

"For safety sake, precautionary purposes more than anything else, we are evacuating personnel or people in the area. And not allowing any vehicular traffic to come into the area as well," said Sgt. Maria Hawke from the Tucson Police Department.

Streets were closed between Pennington on the north, Jackson on the south, Sixth Avenue on the east and Stone Avenue on the west.

Some buildings in the immediate Broadway and Scott area were evacuated.

People in some other buildings and schools in the nearby area were told to stay inside and away from windows and glass.

After a bomb squad robot was sent in, it was discovered the suspicious truck had ammunition inside, but no explosives.

Authorities were able to locate the driver of the vehicle and question him.

The driver, identified as 50-year-old David J. Mitchell from Sahuarita, was arrested Wednesday night.

Mitchell was arrested on a misdemeanor charge for violating a court order not to be around ammunition.

Tucson police say the investigation is still under way and additional charges may follow.

The incident coincided with the latest hearing on the competency of January 8 shooting suspect Jared Loughner at the Evo DeConcini Federal Courthouse just three blocks away, but did not disrupt those proceedings.