Family of suspect killed by MCSO: His life could have been different

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PHOENIX -- The family of a man who was shot and killed by a Maricopa County sheriff's deputy over the weekend wishes their loved one's life could have been different.

On Saturday night, MCSO deputies stopped Charles Dansby for speeding near Interstate 17 and Northern Avenue.

After making contact, deputies determined the 51-year-old motorcycle rider was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

"The suspect was handcuffed in the front, but he was able to pull a .45," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. "It was concealed, pointed at our deputy."

The deputy shot Dansby. He was taken to a local hospital where he died.

A detention officer was shot in the foot during the incident, but it's unknown whose gun fired the shot. The officer's toe was amputated, but he is in good condition.

Dansby's family says he does have a long criminal record. Court records show child abuse, possession of drug paraphernalia and shoplifting. Officials add weapons offenses and resisting arrest to the list.

Still, Flordia Dansby, Dansby's mother, says she's really surprised her son pulled a gun.

"I'm glad that no one else was seriously injured and I'm sorry he lost his life," she said. "I wished it could have been different."

Flordia Dansby is honest about her son's shortcomings and shared a conversation she had just a week before his death, when she made him promise to change.

"He told me he was turning his life around and he was getting things together and he promised he was going to be at church," she said. "It was just a real good visit, a real good visit."

Dansby leaves behind three adult daughters.