PIMA COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Pima County Sheriff's deputies are investigating an early morning armed robbery Sunday south of Tucson, where the suspect was shot and killed by deputies. Investigators say he was also a suspect in the killing of his girlfriend shortly before the robbery.
Tucson Police says the chain of events started unfolding around 1 a.m. Sunday, when a 911 call came in about a possible homicide at a home in the 3800 block of South Palm Side Drive, on the east side near Escalante and Prudence. The caller said his cousin's boyfriend -- identified as 26-year-old Manuel Encinas -- had called him, with Encinas saying he was going to kill his girlfriend and then himself. Officers went to the home and found 26-year-old Christine Betancourt dead with signs she had been hit. Encinas was not home, but the victim's car was missing.
Then, Pima County deputies say Encinas robbed a Circle K around 2 a.m. at 9810 South Nogales Highway. Deputies say they arrived to find Encinas inside the store with a gun pointed behind a store worker. According to deputies, the suspect ordered the employee to leave the store as he followed behind. Once outside, the employee was able to run to a deputy who was near one end of the building. We are told that's when the suspect pointed the gun at deputies and was shot and killed by them. TPD says the victim's car was found at the store.
Neither the Circle K employee nor the deputies were hurt.
We will have team coverage of this developing story live at 5:30 on KOLD News 13.