09/30/2010 08:50 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Questions Arise In Case Of Arizona Deputy Reportedly Shot By Drug Smugglers

The much-hyped account of an Arizona sheriff's deputy attacked by border-crossing drug smugglers is being questioned, months after the fact.

On April 30, one week after Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signed her state's controversial new immigration bill into law, a gun battle reportedly took place in a remote western part of Pinal County, Arizona, between a lone sheriff's deputy and a well-armed group of suspected drug smugglers. The deputy, Louie Puroll, was shot just above his left kidney, but survived, and his assailants were not found, despite an extensive search. The story spread quickly, was reported by major media outlets and was held up by border hawks as proof that Mexican drug violence was spilling into the country.

But an exhaustive article published in the Phoenix New Times last week challenges the official story of what happened in the desert that day, and the Sheriff's office -- led by Paul Babeu, who has ridden this story and his appearance in John McCain's "danged fence" campaign ad to national prominence -- has now reopened its investigation of the case.

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