Arizona police officer shot dead at point blank range by suspect in domestic violence incident
(Reuters) – An Arizona police officer investigating a domestic violence incident was shot dead by a suspect who then killed himself, police said.
Flagstaff police officer Tyler Stewart, 24, was trying to contact suspect Robert Smith, 28, on Saturday when Smith fired several shots at Stewart before turning the gun on himself, a police statement said.
“This is an enormous tragedy for our department and the family of our officer,” Chief Kevin Treadway said. “We are a very close knit organization, and know that all members of the Flagstaff Police Department are grieving at this time.”
A candlelight vigil for the officer is due to take place Sunday in front of the Flagstaff police department.
Stewart had been with the department in Northern Arizona, for less than a year. Smith is from Prescott, about 100 miles southwest of Flagstaff.
Stewart graduated high school in Anthem, Arizona, and Concordia College in California.
“It is heartbreaking to lose one of our officers,” said Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours. “We collectively mourn for his family and the entire department.”
(Reporting by Karen Brooks; Editing by Alison Williams)