Several detained since Pinal County deputy shot near Casa Grande

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CASA GRANDE – The gun battle that wounded a Pinal County sheriff’s deputy lasted more than 10 minutes.

The sheriff’s deputy, 52-year-old Louie Puroll, was reportedly shot by border-crossing drug smugglers in the desert near Casa Grande.

Deputies arrested 17 people, all of them in this country illegally. Three of those individuals are now considered persons of interest but the investigation is far from over.

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu says, “Right now there is no certainty whether we have the shooters or they somehow escaped. We don't have any of the weapons and that's concerning.”

Deputy Puroll was grazed by a bullet to the stomach during the exchange of gunfire on Friday but is expected to make a full recovery.

The investigation into his shooting has also led the United States Border and Customs Inspection to apprehend more than 100 illegal immigrants in the area.