Mother of slain Arizona trooper touched by memorial ceremony
PHOENIX (AP) — The mother of an Arizona state trooper who was shot and killed last year said Monday it’s an honor to see his name on a memorial and it gives her another place to go and remember her son.
Deborah Edenhofer was embraced by Gov. Doug Ducey after an annual ceremony that honors fallen state officers.
Trooper Tyler Edenhofer’s name was placed on the Department of Public Safety memorial alongside 29 others who have died in the line of duty since 1958.
Family and friends of the fallen state troopers place roses on the memorial in a ceremony that includes bagpipers, an honor guard and the playing of taps.
“The sun came out right after we put the rose on the wall. And it’s like there’s Tyler!” Deborah Edenhofer said. “He was so honored to wear that uniform, and he had so much more to give.”
Tyler Edenhofer, 24, had been on the job for just 52 days when he was shot on July 25 by someone who grabbed another trooper’s handgun during a struggle on a Phoenix-area freeway.
Isaac Damon King, 21, faces first degree murder and other charges and is awaiting trial. He has pleaded not guilty.
Ducey said the ceremony wasn’t just to honor those that died. It also acknowledged how they lived “with courage and selflessness,” he said.
“They knew that any day, any shift, any stop, any call, could be their last,” Ducey said. “They chose to serve anyway.”
The governor also planned to attend an evening ceremony at the state Capitol to honor all peace officers who have died on duty in Arizona.
Edenhofer will be included along with Nogales Police Officer Jesus Manuel “Chuy” Cordova and Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase Sabethal White, who also were killed on duty last year.
DPS Col. Frank Milstead, who leads state police and previously was police chief in Mesa, said Edenhofer was the first officer he lost.
“I never imagined I would be here today to put a name on the wall,” Milstead said at the DPS ceremony. “And I never really knew how difficult it would be and the emotions that I personally would feel and go through.”