ELOY, Ariz.—An early morning robbery yesterday at an adult boutique in rural Arizona ended in a car chase and shootout with police that left one of the alleged robbers dead and the other wounded and in custody. The store, M Passion Adult Boutique in Picacho Peak, which is southeast of Eloy, was the scene of the initial crime at around 6:30 a.m.
"The suspects reportedly tied up the store clerk and held her at gunpoint while they robbed the place," reported azfamily.com. "She was not hurt and was able to get loose and call 911 as the suspects fled with the company's safe."
Fortuitously, a Pinal County Sheriff's Office deputy was in the area and saw the suspect's car leaving the scene. "Lights and siren on, the deputy tried to stop the driver, but the suspect refused to comply," reported the news site. "At times, the suspects' vehicle hit speeds of 120 mph."
The chase lasted all of ten minutes, when the "suspects' vehicle exited on to northbound Highway 87."
According to a PCSO spokesperson, "The suspect vehicle pulled into a dirt field and then the suspect vehicle and deputy’s vehicle collided. Initial information is the two armed suspects exited the vehicle and shot at the deputy. The deputy returned fire and shot both suspects."
One of the suspects was killed at the scene, while the other was airlifted to a hospital with a leg wound. Both were ex-cons. "The deceased suspect is 32-year-old Matthew Clowers. He spent 10 years in prison for Aggravated Assault and Armed Robbery," reported azfamily.com. "The suspect in the hospital is 23-year-old Adam Chavez. He served eight months in prison for Endangerment and Theft."
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu was unabashed in his praise for the first-responder deputy, saying, "Our deputy involved in the pursuit and shooting is a highly disciplined patrol deputy who is a member of our special weapons and tactics team."
Of the alleged robbers, he was less complimentary. "These armed robbers tied up the female clerk and thought they were getting away with the cash from the register and the safe, yet our deputies were quick to catch these bad guys," Babeu said in a news release. "In the end, our deputies go home safe and one suspect goes to the morgue and the other to the hospital before life in prison."
Image: The scene of the shootout with police early Monday.