Former deputy Louis Puroll fired for statements to paper

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PHOENIX (AP) -- An Arizona sheriff's deputy shot during a confrontation with drug smugglers in April has been fired for statements he later made to a weekly newspaper.

Pinal County deputy Louie Puroll (purl) came under scrutiny after he was slightly wounded in what he described as an ambush by marijuana smugglers in the desert about 50 miles south of Phoenix.

Puroll made statements to the Phoenix New Times after the investigation was closed in October. He reportedly said he had previously been approached by drug cartel members but did not tell his superiors.

Puroll was suspended after the New Times story was published for what Sheriff Paul Babeu said appeared to be unprofessional conduct.

Babeu formally terminated Puroll on Wednesday, but the deputy plans to appeal.