'Person of interest' in DPS shooting detained, released; search continues for 2 men

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

PHOENIX -- Police have detained and released one of the three people for whom they were searching in the wake of the attempted murder of a Department of Public Safety officer.

Vanessa C. Martinez was detained, questioned and subsequently released Sunday, Officer James Holmes of the Phoenix Police Department said Monday morning.

"No cause was developed to arrest Ms. Martinez," he wrote in an email to media outlets.

Police continue to look for Ramon L. Bueno and Danny Angel Vargas.

Investigators believe the men are connected to the shooting of a DPS officer during a traffic stop early last Wednesday morning.

The officer had stopped a Mercury Sable that had extremely dark window tinting. Five people were inside the car. After a brief conversation with one of them, somebody pulled a gun and fired. Police believe Bueno was the gunman.

The officer was wounded in the face, but he was able to call for help.

The suspects circled back and got into a shootout with the two officers who responded to their colleague's radio call.

The shooting triggered a Blue Alert, Arizona's first, and spawned a citywide search for the Sable, which was later found abandoned.

The next day, police detained two women in connection with the shooting. They also released the names and photos of the three remaining suspects -- Martinez, Bueno and Vargas.

Officers arrested one of the women detained Thursday, Valeria Jaime, on suspicion of hindering the investigation.

"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 said.

Jaime, 24, was treated for a gunshot wound before police booked her into jail. She was later released on her own recognizance with supervision restrictions. It is not known if she has a lawyer.

The woman detained with Jaime was questioned and released. Police did not divulge any information about her.

DPS has not identified the wounded officer, saying only that he is 44 years old, married and a six-year department veteran.

While Bueno is wanted for attempted murder, Vargas is wanted for questioning.

If you have any information that might help police find Bueno and/or Vargas, call the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6151 or Silent Witness at either 480-WITNESS (948-6377) or 1-800-343-TIPS (8477). Spanish speakers may call 480-TESTIGO (837-8446).

There is a reward of up to $11,000 on the table.