Law officers backed by helicopters came under fire as they hunted gunmen in Arizona's desert early today after a sheriff's deputy was wounded by suspected illegal immigrants believed to be smuggling marijuana. Pinal County Deputy Louie Puroll exchanged fire yesterday afternoon with a band of five suspected smugglers in a rugged area about 50 miles south of Phoenix.
Puroll was treated and released, but the shooting added fuel to an already fiery national debate on Arizona's new immigration law, with local politicians calling for feds to help secure the border with Mexico. "Regardless of the outcome of tonight's manhunt and investigation, Arizona is now confronted by some of the most vicious and dangerous narco-terror organizations the world has seen," said Gov. Jan Brewer in a statement.