Police arrest 1 in DPS officer shooting; search continues for 3 others

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- Police say they have arrested one of the two women detained for questioning in connection with Wednesday's shooting of a Department of Public Safety officer. They released the second woman. Officers continue their search for three people who are wanted for questioning.

Officer James Holmes identified the woman police arrested as Valeria S. Jaime. The 24-year-old faces a charge of hindering prosecution, which is a class 5 felony.

"Detectives determined this suspect's actions following the shooting of the DPS officer and her statements at interview were a furtive effort to mislead detectives and hinder the investigation," Holmes wrote in an email to media outlets.

According to court documents, investigators believe Jaime's boyfriend shot the DPS officer after the officer confronted him about providing false information about his identity.

Police say Jaime was sitting next to her boyfriend in the car, but she vaguely described what happened during the traffic stop and did not admit to witnessing her boyfriend shoot the officer.

Jaime reportedly told investigators that her boyfriend fled on foot from the vehicle and she had not been in contact with him since.

According to the documents, someone who personally knows Jaime and her boyfriend reported eating at a fast-food restaurant with the couple after the shooting.

Police say Jaime actively avoided law enforcement for more than 24 hours before she was located in the area of Interstate 17 and Turney Avenue, which is north of Indian School Road.

Holmes also said Jaime was injured, possibly in the exchange of gunfire with the two DPS officers who responded to their colleague's radio call for help. That wound was treated before she was booked into jail.

Three other people still are being sought for questioning in the shooting earlier this week. They are 39-year-old Ramon L. Bueno, a Hispanic male; 26-year-old Danny Angel Vargas, a Hispanic male and 29-year-old Vanessa C. Martinez, a Hispanic female.

The six-year DPS veteran was shot in the face after conducting a traffic stop near an Interstate 17 frontage road at about 3 a.m. Wednesday.

The suspects fled in a Mercury Sable that was found abandoned hours later.

Police believe Bueno, Vargas and Martinez were in the vehicle at the time of the shooting, but are not calling them suspects at this point.

According to Arizona Department of Corrections records, they recently served time in prison for armed robbery.

Police say the DPS officer remains hospitalized in stable condition, and they won't release his identity until all five suspects have been arrested. 

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