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Suspected firearm used in officer-involved shooting was potentially stolen, the original gun owner speaks out

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Posted at 5:06 PM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-06 20:12:47-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — A Tucson business owner believes a gun stolen from his home in a burglary was used in Tuesday's officer-involved shooting. That shooting happened at Fort Lowell and Stone.

KGUN 9 reporter Taja Davis spoke to the homeowner who says he didn’t realize his gun was connected to the scene until after he reported the break-in.

“It's usually by my night sand, right by where I sleep. So I went to grab it, and it wasn’t there,” said Drew Berryhill, Tucson resident and local business owner.

Berryhill lives near Fort Lowell and Stone - the same cross streets and area where the officer-involved shooting happened Tuesday. As he woke up that day, he says he noticed his gun and sons’ PlayStation controllers missing.

“Then I start to get a little frantic, like, ok where could it be? It’s obviously not here, but there’s no way somebody came into my house and took it because that’s just crazy,” said Berryhill.

But it did happen and happened while he was asleep. Berryhill says after looking around, he noticed the side entry to his home was slightly open. Luckily his two sons did not stay at his home Monday night.

“Especially considering what could have happened once they got my gun. I’m sitting here, laying here asleep, defenseless,” said Berryhill.

After reporting the lost firearm and the break-in to the Tucson Police Department in the morning, Berryhill says he was told an officer would meet him at his business, Drutopia, to make a formal report. Almost six hours after his initial 9-1-1 call, he decided to close up shop and let a neighboring business know he was leaving early. A TPD officer happened to be there, overheard Berryhill’s conversation, and said he could take his report right then and there.

“It was definitely great work on his part. Once I started telling him the details of what happened and what was taken - ears kind of perked up, eyes kind of brightened when I described the firearms. And then he asked me where I was located, to where I saw all his wheels turning and he put it together,” said Berryhill.

Berryhill says the officer couldn’t give him a lot of details but said the officer was confident his gun was connected to the officer-involved shooting that happened hours earlier. The officer then followed Berryhill home by 4 p.m. and had detectives swab for prints.

“To know, ultimately, whoever that individual was who was willing to get into some sort of exchange with law enforcement but not bring any physical harm to me in that moment last night, it really puts things in perspective for me. I’m so grateful to be here,” said Berryhill.

Berryhill’s statements have been verified by Tucson police. He has an ongoing case for the burglary into his home and now his firearm is evidence in the officer-involved shooting case.