A South Tucson police officer responding to a “shots fired” call about 1:30 AM early Friday morning came under fire from a suspect armed with some sort of cut-down Mosin-Nagant.

South Tucson Police say when an officer arrived he saw a man and turned his car to check him out. Next thing he knows that officer is taking fire.  Several shots hit his vehicle and one takes out one of his tires.

Police said the man had a powerful military rifle of a type the Soviets used to use.

The Mosin-Nagant design is about 120 years old but it fires a bigger bullet than the modern M-16.

South Tucson Police say their officer faced one sawed down to have a short barrel and stock.

They say their officer could not get to the rifle in his trunk so he fired his handgun and was able to kill the man from about 65 feet away.

The authorities have not released the photo of the specific weapon recovered at the scene, but it may have looked something like this.

I cannot even begin to imagine the size of the fireball coming out of the barrel of the cut-down Mosin, which ripped several shots through the police officer’s vehicle and flattened a tire.

The officer could not get to his patrol rifle while under fire, and was forced to engage the suspect with his handgun. He showed great poise and good marksmanship to get effective rounds on the suspect from more than 20 yards away. Most pistol shooters can’t hit a target that far away when shooting at a stationary target, much less hit a moving target at that distance that is actively shooting back.

The suspect, a man believed to be in his 40s, has not been named.

There is no word on what the deceased suspect was shooting at originally to trigger the “shots fired” call.