DUI suspect in custody after allegedly ramming Pinal Cty. deputy's car

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. -- A DUI suspect is in custody after allegedly ramming a deputy's patrol car in the course of a traffic stop that ended in an officer-involved shooting in Casa Grande late Thursday night.

According to the Pinal County Sheriff's Office, the deputy, whose name has not been released, was part of a DUI operation. That deputy tried to stop a vehicle, an older model Chevy Tahoe, shortly before midnight in the area of Gilbert Avenue and Eighth Street.

The driver, identified as Rodney Edwin Keeton, refused to stop, leading the deputy on a short chase that came to an end when the Tahoe plowed into a fire hydrant at Pueblo Drive and Florence Boulevard (Casa Grande La Palma Highway).

As the deputy, a five-year veteran, walked toward the Tahoe, Keeton shifted into reverse and backed toward the deputy, crashing into the patrol vehicle, said PCSO Officer Thomas Anderson.

"Fearing for his safety, the deputy responded by firing his service weapon at the suspect vehicle," Anderson said in a news release.

It's not known how many rounds were fired, but there are appeared to be at least three bullet holes in the Tahoe.

As the deputy fired, Keeton took off a second time.

A short time later, deputies located the Tahoe several blocks away at a home southeast of Florence Boulevard and Trekell Road. Keeton, 34, was taken into custody without further incident. He was taken to the Casa Grande Police Department for questioning and later booked into Pinal County Jail.

Keeton is being held on $75,000 bond. he will be arraigned in Pinal County Superior Court on Jan. 6.

No injuries were reported in the course of the chase and subsequent shooting.

Other than his name and age, PCSO has not released any details about Keeton.

The incident is under investigation.