Suspect shot by deputies was 'Crazy Eight Bandit,' per MCSO

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Willie Timmons. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Willie Timmons. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Willie Timmons. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Willie Timmons. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The man that was shot by Maricopa County Sheriff's Office deputies in late July was responsible for 16 robberies mostly in the west Valley, investigators said.

The suspect was identified on Tuesday as 45-year-old Willie Timmons, who was known as the "Crazy Eight Bandit," according to MCSO.

The incident on July 28 all started when investigators said they saw Timmons robbing the O'Reilly's Auto Parts Store near 91st Avenue on Peoria Avenue around 9 p.m. Deputies went after Timmons and tried to arrest him but he ignored verbal commands, they said. 

[ORIGINAL STORY: MCSO: Suspect shot in deputy-involved shooting; no deputies hurt]

According to MCSO, Timmons appeared to reach for something in his waistband believe to be a weapon. That's when deputies used both non-lethal and lethal force.

Timmons was hit and has life-threatening injuries and is still in the hospital as of Tuesday evening.

No deputies were hurt.

[LIST: 2017 officer-involved shootings]

Deputies said they later discovered the object Timmons was reaching for was an airsoft pistol.

MCSO said Timmons had been under surveillance during that day because he had been suspected of being responsible for up to 16 armed robberies during the past five months in the west Valley. The suspect was dubbed the "Crazy Eight Bandit." They said tattoos from surveillance video of recent robberies matched tattoos on Timmons' hands. They also reportedly used information to identify his vehicle and residence. 

According to MCSO, Timmons' criminal record shows he has been convicted for numerous armed robberies in Missouri where he had been paroled after serving 10 years of a 15-year sentence. His parole allowed him to live in Arizona.

The "Crazy Eight Bandit" started robbing businesses in May, mostly hitting places in Peoria, Surprise and unincorporated areas of Maricopa County, MCSO said. The suspect was given that name because he had a tendency to act on dates with the number eight or to separate his actions by eight days.

Should Timmons get out of the hospital, he faces a long list of charges.

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