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Updated Sep 25, 2013 - 5:19 pm

Officials: 15-year-old arrested in shooting death of MCSO officer

Leonard Moreno (left) and Ivan Montes. (Photo: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)

PHOENIX -- Phoenix police said they have made an arrest in the case of a Maricopa County detention officer who died after being shot in his own driveway.

Authorities said 15-year-old Leonard Moreno was arrested in the death of Jorge Vargas.

Vargas was attacked Aug. 8 while working on his car outside his home. He was wearing his uniform that identified him as a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office employee.

"What happened at the end of that driveway is really unknown," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Trent Crump. "We know that he ended up dead there with an encounter with him. But again, I think when we talk about motive in this, we believe the motive in this is gangs, guns and drugs. There's no other answer we can provide for this."

Authorities, at the time, wouldn't speculate if the killing was related to Vargas' work.

Witnesses told authorities a man was seen running from the scene after the shots were fired but tactical teams failed to find any suspects.

Crump said Moreno was described as a "wannabe" gang member and was on his way home from a party when he allegedly shot Vargas. He was linked to the scene through DNA evidence and evidence obtained from shell casings.

Moreno is already in jail on suspicion of committing a drive-by shooting.

Moreno's mother, Kathy Seymour, was also arrested in the case. She was charged with hindering prosecution.

A second man, 20-year-old Ivan Montes, was arrested as an accomplice to the shooting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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About the Author


Sandra moved from the small border city of Yuma, Arizona to study Broadcast Journalism at Arizona State University in the late 90s. Since graduating, she's worked at several local TV stations including Univision, Fox 10 and 3TV.

Working at KTAR, has allowed her the opportunity to cover major national news events, including Presidential visits, the Tucson Tragedy and the Wallow fire.

When Sandra isn't covering breaking news or behind a microphone in the studio, she's probably at home with her best friend Mark and her two dogs, Lily and Lola.

Sandra enjoys cooking and admits to enjoying "really bad" reality T.V. She also enjoys spending quiet time at home with people she loves, playing a little poker and traveling.

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