Police capture suspect in Utah deputy's killing

August 30, 2010 6:41:30 AM PDT
The suspect in the shooting death of a Utah sheriff's deputy was captured early Monday in the rugged countryside near the Utah-Arizona border, authorities said.

Law officers arrested Scott Curley, 23, shortly after midnight near Kanab, Utah, after a resident alerted police.

"The caller advised that a suspicious person was trying to get into his home," said Jim Driscol, chief deputy of the Coconino County Sheriff's Department in Arizona.

The resident said he was awakened by barking dogs and looked out the window and saw a person with a rifle slung over his shoulder, Driscol said at a news conference held at Kanab, located just across the state line and about 10 miles north of Fredonia.

Seventeen law enforcement officers responded to the call and quickly located Curley, who surrendered without resistance, he said.

Curley is accused of shooting Kane County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Harris Thursday near the Utah-Arizona border during a foot chase.

The suspect then vanished into the surrounding wilderness and wasn't seen again by authorities until early Monday.

Deputies said that at the time of the arrest Curley was in possession of the rifle suspected to have been used in Harris' killing.

Authorities said he faces a first degree murder charge in Arizona.

The arrest came less than a day after authorities announced they were adding more law enforcement teams to hunt the fugitive down.

On Sunday, authorities asked residents in the Fredonia and Kanab areas to open their homes and outbuildings to searches by officers in tactical gear.

About 100 officers were in the field Sunday, and three helicopters were aiding in the search, according to a statement from Coconino County deputies.

Curley was suspected of trying to burglarize Fredonia High School and holding a janitor at gunpoint on Wednesday night. The janitor was unharmed, and Curley avoided authorities until Thursday.

Harris, 41, was tracking Curley, when he was ambushed and shot to death. Authorities said Curley shot at other police officers and missed before escaping.

Authorities said Curley suffered from depression and had few friends, but was familiar with the rugged countryside near Fredonia and searchers could pass 10 feet from him and never see him in hiding.

The U.S. Marshals Service has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to Curley's capture. There was no word on the status of that reward early Monday.

Curley was being questioned by deputies early Monday. The Coconino County Sheriffs Office said it would seek his extradition from Utah.


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