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MCSO IDs officer killed in West Valley ambush

Jorge Vargas. (Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

PHOENIX -- The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office identified a detention officer who was shot and killed at his home on Tolleson on Thursday.

Jorge Vargas was 27 when he was killed near 89th Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump said someone was spotted running from the scene around the same time when neighbors heard shots. The eight-year sheriff's office veteran was shot while standing in his driveway. Neighbors called 911 after hearing gunfire.

The officer died in a local hospital.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio said Vargas worked for the Sheriff's Office Custody Support Bureau in the jail's food factory, but he often came into contact with inmates.

He wouldn't speculate about whether Vargas' killing may have been related to his work, but said his office was assisting Phoenix police in the investigation, including gathering intelligence from the jails

"It's really going to affect the family he has in the sheriff's office as well as in law enforcement, but that's not going to stop us from trying to find this person and prosecute this person to the full extent (of the law)," said MCSO Sgt. Brandon Jones.

Vargas leaves behind a wife and a 5-year-old child.

Part of the area was temporarily blocked off to conduct the search for the shooter.

KTAR's Bob McClay and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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