WHITERIVER, Ariz. — A tribal police officer was fatally shot during a traffic stop on a Native American reservation in Arizona by a suspect who stole the officer’s car and got into a shootout in which another officer was wounded, officials said Friday. The suspect was killed.
The events unfolded Thursday night on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation of the White Mountain Apache Tribe in eastern Arizona when the officer stopped the vehicle driven by the suspect in the town of Whiteriver, the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement released on behalf of the tribe.
After the officer was fatally shot during an altercation, the suspect took the slain officer’s police vehicle and was chased by other officers, the statement said. That led to what authorities described as a “gun battle” near a lake near in a remote area of the reservation.
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The other officer was wounded in the exchange of gunfire and the suspect was fatally shot, the statement said.
The wounded officer was flown to a hospital in Phoenix and no information was immediately disclosed about the officer’s condition.
The officers and the suspect were not identified and the sheriff’s office statement said the FBI will lead the investigation into the shootings.
FBI spokesman Kevin Smith said no additional information about the shootings was immediately available.