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Arizona police officer killed; suspect dead

December 28, 2014

FLAGSTAFF, Arizona (AP) — A 24-year-old police officer died after being shot by a domestic violence suspect who then killed himself Saturday afternoon in Arizona.

Officer Tyler J. Stewart, 24, died at Flagstaff Medical Center, police said. Stewart is the second Flagstaff police officer ever to be killed in the line of duty.

Stewart was looking for the man — identified as Robert W. Smith, 28, of Prescott — about 1:30 p.m. when Smith fired several shots at the officer, police said. Smith then shot himself and was pronounced dead at the scene, police added.

Investigators do not believe Stewart fired any shots, but they continue to investigate the matter, Sgt. Margaret Bentzen said.

Stewart had worked at the department for less than a year, police said.

“It is heartbreaking to lose one of our officers,” Mayor Jerry Nabours said. “We collectively mourn for his family and the entire department.”

A candlelight vigil has been scheduled by Stewart’s family and the Flagstaff Police Department for Sunday evening at the Officer Down Memorial Statue in front of the police department at 911 E. Sawmill.

The shooting was the second one of a police officer in northern Arizona in the past three months. In October, a tribal police officer of the Navajo Nation was shot in the face during a shootout with a male suspect in the town of Kaibeto, which is 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of Flagstaff. The officer survived.

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