Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Tuesday, 12:05 a.m.: As Maricopa County sheriff's Deputy Ruben Garcia, 49, is leaving the home of a woman who called to report that her ex-boyfriend was threatening to hurt himself or others, he sees the ex-boyfriend's Ford pickup.
Garcia stops the truck at a gas station near 83rd Avenue and Deer Valley Road, in part to check on the driver's well-being based on reports that the man may be suicidal. Police later identify the driver as 54-year-old Donald Miller Sr.
Witnesses later say they heard gunshots and saw Garcia, a 29-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, fall to the ground as Miller fled.
Peoria police spot Miller's truck and give chase into the desert, where officers exchange gunfire with him. When Miller stops responding, SWAT officers approach and confirm he is dead, though investigators still have not determined if Miller's wound was self-inflicted.
Miller's criminal history consists of a handful of traffic tickets and two criminal violations in Peoria Municipal Court related to domestic violence, according to court records.