This undated photo released by the Tucson, Ariz., police department shows Sgt. Robert Carpenter. Carpenter was recovering Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, following surgery after he was shot in the head while checking on a home where a break-in had been reported, authorities said. The assailant remained on the loose. Carpenter was standing with other officers near the home just before dawn Sunday when they heard a loud noise, and he fell, Chief Roberto Villasenor said. He underwent surgery and was able to speak afterward.
Photo credit: (AP Photo/Tucson Police Department)
A Tucson Police sergeant was shot in the head Sunday morning while investigating an audible alarm at a residence.
According to a news release from the Tucson Police Department, Sergeant Robert Carpenter is in critical but stable condition having undergone surgery after the shooting which occurred at about 5:15 a.m. in the 4000 block of East Elmwood.
Police had responded to alarm activation at the same residence earlier in the night, at 1:43 a.m., and encountered a man in the yard, according to the news release.
The man fled from the residence and was pursued by police who did not find the suspect. During the second alarm activation, police searched the home and the property but did not find anyone who may have triggered the alarm. Police did determine the home had been entered and they locked up the premises before leaving the scene at about 4:15 a.m.
An hour later, police responded to a second alarm activation and Sgt. Carpenter arrived about a minute later.
There were obvious signs of forced entry Carpenter and two other officers conducted an interior check of the building, according to the news release.
Shortly after Carpenter and the officers exited the residence, they heard a loud noise, and Sergeant Carpenter fell to the ground.
EMS personnel from the Tucson Fire Department responded to the scene and took Carpenter to a local trauma center where it was determined that he had been shot in the head.
After surgery, the sergeant’s family and friends have been with him at the hospital.
Tucson’s police department spent about seven hours after the shooting looking for the suspect, using all available resources, including the SWAT, an air patrol unit and K9 units, but was unable to locate the suspect.
The Tucson Police Department said it continues to track the identity of the person police found in the yard on the first break-in attempt, as he is a person of interest for the shooting at the same home hours later.
According to the news report, Sgt. Carpenter, 46, is a nearly 12-year veteran of the Tucson Police Department. He is currently assigned as a patrol sergeant in Operations Division Midtown and supervises a midnight shift (9:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.).