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A July 28 shooting involving Sheriff’s deputies marked the end of a wide-ranging investigation into a string of armed robberies in the West Valley carried out by a man dubbed the “Crazy Eight Bandit,” the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

Willie Timmons, 45, was shot by Deputy D. Parra during a foot chase in Peoria.

Officials said Timmons had been seen robbing an O’Reilly’s Auto Parts Store near 91st and Peoria avenues and ignored deputies’ commands to stop running.

Officials said deputies ended the confrontation “with the use of both non-lethal and lethal force.”

Timmons was hospitalized with injuries.

The incident was the 28th officer shooting in Maricopa County this year and the fourth by MCSO deputies. Seventeen of the incidents resulted in fatalities.

A statement released by MCSO officials on Tuesday evening said Timmons had appeared to be reaching for an object in his waistband, which deputies feared was a weapon. An airsoft pistol was later taken from Timmons.

Tuesday’s release offers the most information to date on the incident

Officials at the time acknowledged the shooting but declined to release details on the suspect or underlying investigation.

Sheriff’s officials suspect Timmons is responsible for as many as 16 armed robberies since May, targeting businesses such as convenience stores and pharmacies.

The investigation spanned multiple agencies and divisions, including the MCSO’s Special Investigations Division, its fugitive apprehension team, the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center and Surprise and Peoria police.


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Why the ‘Crazy Eight Bandit’

The “Crazy Eight Bandit” earned his moniker for his tendency to act on dates with the number eight in them or to separate his crimes by eight days. Investigators zeroed in on Timmons after matching tattoos on his hands to those seen on surveillance footage of the suspect.

It was the investigators’ tracking of Timmons that led them to the auto parts store on July 28.

“Our deputies were threatened by a suspect that they witnessed being armed and violent, and they acted responsibly in stopping him,” Sheriff Paul Penzone said in the statement. “This man is a dangerous person. It was a matter of time before he would have hurt customers or employees of the businesses he had robbed.”

Timmons is being treated for life-threatening injuries in a local hospital. Parra, a near-20-year veteran, is on paid administrative leave while the incident is reviewed internally.

Timmons has been indicted on one count of armed robbery, according to Maricopa County Superior Court records. He has not yet been booked into jail, as he is still being treated for his injuries. More charges may follow, officials said.

Timmons’ criminal record in Arizona shows only traffic violations, other than the current charge. However, officials said he previously served 10 years of a 15-year sentence in Missouri after being convicted for numerous armed robberies. He also was arrested and charged with homicide in that state but was not convicted, the release states.

MCSO officials said Timmons’ conditions of parole included permission for him to live in Arizona.


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