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Suspect in Killing of Utah Sheriff's Deputy Captured

082710_Curley

Suspect Scott Curley, 23, allegedly shot and killed a Utah deputy sheriff with a high-powered rifle during a chase on Thursday (Coconino County Sheriff Department).

FREDONIA, Ariz. -- The suspect in the shooting death of a Utah sheriff's deputy was captured early Monday near the Utah-Arizona border after a resident reported an armed prowler, authorities said.

Law officers arrested Scott Curley, 23, shortly shortly before 1 a.m. local time near Kanab, said Jim Driscol, chief deputy of the Coconino County Sheriff's Department in Arizona.

"A caller advised that a suspicious person was trying to get into his home," Driscol said. "He was awakened by dogs and looked out the window and saw a person with a rifle slung over his shoulder."

Seventeen law enforcement officers responded and quickly located Curley, who surrendered without resistance, Driscol said at a news conference held at Kanab.

Curley is accused of shooting Kane County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Harris Thursday during a foot chase.

Authorities allege that Curley hid beneath a tree in the small town of Fredonia, just south of the Utah border about 10 miles from Kanab, and waited for two pursuing lawmen to get closer, opening fire from between 40 and 150 feet away and killing Harris.

The suspect then vanished into the rugged wilderness that surrounds the border area and wasn't seen again by authorities until early Monday.

Deputies said that at the time of the arrest Curley was in possession of the rifle suspected to have been used in Harris' killing.

Authorities said he faces a first degree murder charge in Arizona.

The arrest came less than a day after authorities announced they were adding more law enforcement teams to hunt the fugitive down.

On Sunday, authorities asked residents in the Fredonia and Kanab areas to open their homes and outbuildings to searches by officers in tactical gear.

About 100 officers were in the field Sunday, and three helicopters were aiding in the search, according to a statement from Coconino County deputies.

Curley was suspected of trying to burglarize Fredonia High School and holding a janitor at gunpoint on Wednesday night. The janitor was unharmed, and Curley avoided authorities until Thursday.

Authorities said Curley suffered from depression and had few friends, but was familiar with the rugged countryside near Fredonia and searchers could pass 10 feet from him and never see him in hiding.

The U.S. Marshals Service has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to Curley's capture. There was no word on the status of that reward early Monday.

Curley was being questioned by deputies early Monday. The Coconino County Sheriff's Office said it would seek his extradition from Utah.

Harris left behind his wife Shawna, 13-year-old daughter Kirsten, 10-year-old daughter Kristina, five brothers, a sister, and his parents.

His father Bruce Harris, 72, said his son most enjoyed saving people and animals as part of his job, and was the one lowered from helicopters during rescues.

"He figured there was nobody better than him to put it out on the line," Bruce Harris told The Associated Press in a recent interview.

He said that among his children, Brian was the toughest to raise because of a rebellious side, and "he wanted to do things his way.

Yet he and his son grew closer than ever after he joined the Army, served in the Gulf War and returned to Utah to be a deputy.

"He and I had the most conflict when he was young, and the way it worked out he's the one I depended on for about everything," Bruce Harris said. "He was our go-to guy in the family, and he was a pillar of the community."

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