Experts are now seriously questioning Pinal County Sheriff's Deputy Louie Puroll's much-hyped tale of being shot by drug smugglers in a remote part of the Arizona desert. But even if every detail of Puroll's story is true, it still does not square with many of the claims the Sheriff's office has peddled about the case.
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The department says the original criminal investigation "had concluded and the facts of the case confirmed the accounts of the event as Deputy Puroll described." And though the case has now been reopened, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu told local news this week that he "absolutely" still believes his deputy. Beside Puroll and his alleged attackers, who were never found, there were no other witnesses to the event.
But in the immediate aftermath of the April incident, and to this day, Babeu and the department have made statements about the event that clash with the recorded account that Puroll gave to detectives on May 6, and which was released to the public in early July (audio here). These statements have included exaggerations and unverified information, and have been repeated often by Babeu as his national profile has grown as a voice on border security. Some of the claims have been walked back. Others have not.