Graham County sheriff wounded during traffic stop

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Sheriff is recovering

THATCHER, Ariz. -- A southeastern Arizona sheriff is expected to be released from a hospital later today after being shot with a shotgun.

A Graham County sheriff's official says Sheriff Frank Hughes is going to be fine -- that a bulletproof vest took all the trauma from the blast.

The shooting occurred last night around 11:30 north of Thatcher after Hughes stopped to help a driver whose vehicle was pulled over with either its trunk or hood open.

Hughes reached into his own vehicle, possibly to get a flashlight, when the motorist walked up behind him with a shotgun and pointed it in the sheriff's face. A sheriff's official says Hughes managed to pull the gun down toward his body before the gunman fired.

Authorities are looking for a dark blue Nissan sedan occupied by a man and a woman that was involved in the shooting.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)