HEREFORD — A Cochise County Sheriff’s deputy shot a man in the upper body after the individual became aggressive toward the lawman while brandishing a rifle, investigators said Tuesday.
The man who was shot, identified as 40-year-old Helgar Rosas, was airlifted to a Tucson hospital. He was listed in critical condition, investigators said.
The incident occurred Monday afternoon just before 4 p.m. at a house on East Running Coyote Trail, police said, after Deputy Rene Meza responded to a call for a disturbance at the residence.
According to Sierra Vista Police investigators — the agency is investigating the shooting for the Sheriff’s Office — Rosas exchanged words with Meza when the deputy arrived in front of Rosas’ house. Rosas then pulled out what appeared to be a long rifle while making aggressive movements and statements toward Meza.
After a standoff and repeated commands from Meza to Rosas to drop the firearm, Meza shot Rosas one time in the upper body and Rosas fell to the ground.
Other deputies arrived at the property and administered life-saving measures to Rosas. He was transported by area EMS services and then flown by helicopter to a Tucson-area trauma center for treatment.
Meza, who was not injured, has been placed on paid administrative leave, as is customary in such incidents.
Meanwhile, Rosas’ wife Queenie Rosas, disputed the Sheriff’s Office account of the shooting on the agency’s Facebook page on Monday.
“The gunshot victim is my husband,” Queenie Rosas said in her first Facebook post. “And don’t judge if you don’t know the story.”
She also wrote: “The sheriff was not shot. They need to stop making it look like like he was. He wasn’t even hurt at all.
“He did not have a weapon. I was there. This is my husband. And believe I will be using my house cameras in court,” she added.
On her own Facebook page, Queenie Rosas asked people to pray for her husband: “Can everyone please pray for Helgar Rosas. He was shot by Sheriffs. Please pray for my husband, he’s my everything.”
Queenie Rosas did not respond to a request for comment from the Herald/Review via her Facebook page.
Rosas has not been charged in the incident.