A suspect involved in an altercation that resulted in an Arizona police officer being “fatally shot” has been killed after stealing the cop’s vehicle and leading law enforcement on a pursuit, authorities say.
The incident unfolded Thursday night after a White Mountain Apache Police Officer conducted a traffic stop in Whiteriver, east of Phoenix, according to the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office.
“An altercation occurred between the officer and the person operating the vehicle,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement. “During the altercation, the officer was fatally shot.”
Police say the suspect then “took the officer’s police vehicle and fled the scene with White Mountain Apache Police Officers in pursuit.”
The chase made its way “through very remote areas of the Fort Apache Indian Reservation to the Hawley Lake area where the officers and the suspect were involved in a gun battle,” according to investigators.
The sheriff’s office said one officer was shot during the encounter and the suspect ultimately was killed.
The wounded officer was airlifted to a Phoenix-area hospital while the FBI is now investigating the incidents.
“The Tribe is indebted to our Police Department and EMS for their prompt and courageous response, and grateful for the assistance rendered by our neighboring jurisdictions,” the White Mountain Apache Tribe said in a statement. “Our prayers, tonight, are with the families of those officers involved, and with all of our first responders.”
The names of the officers involved and the suspect were not immediately released.