UPDATE: Tucson teen released from hospital, charged with multiple felonies following shooting with police

Tucson K-9 officer Tango doing well after getting shot during late-night incident

UPDATE: Tucson teen released from hospital, charged with multiple felonies following shooting with police
Tucson K-9 officer Tango was shot during the arrest of an armed robbery suspect late Thursday, Sept. 3. (Source: Tucson Police K9)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A local teenager is out of the hospital and faces multiple felony charges for a shoot out with police that injured a canine officer earlier this month.

Elmer Virgen, 15, was discharged from the hospital Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020, and taken to the county jail where he is booked on aggravated assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, animal abuse and other charges related to the shooting that injured K9 Officer Tango on Sept. 3.

Officials said Virgen is connected to several crimes and incidents, including the officer-involved shooting on Aug. 26 that left 17-year-old Simon Pancho dead.

The TPD said the incident began around 11 p.m. when officers spotted Virgen near South Midvale Park Road and West Headley Place. Virgen allegedly ran from Tango and officers before firing off several shots. A TPD officer returned fire and hit Virgen.

Officers and Tactical Emergency Medical Support [TEMS] personnel immediately moved in to treat Virgen’s gunshot wounds. After rendering first-aid, Tucson Fire transported Virgen to a local hospital to receive treatment for non-life-threatening injuries.

During the incident, TPD K9 Tango was injured by gunfire. He was treated by Valley Animal Hospital, and is now recovering from his injuries.

Officers were searching for Virgen on several charges, including armed robbery, aggravated robbery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Those charges come from an armed robbery that happened July 31 at a local convenience store.

Officials said Virgen, Pancho and two other suspects robbed the store, and both Virgen and Pancho are affiliated with gangs.

Virgen will face charges from the armed robbery and other felonies from the Thursday night’s incident. Tucson police said he also has a felony warrant for a recent parole violation.


Several KOLD News 13 viewers asked how they can donate to Tango’s recovery. You can do that HERE or HERE.

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