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Hero Down: Tohono O’odham PD Officer Bryan Brown Killed During Arrest Of Armed Suspect

Why, AZ – Tohono O’odham Police Department Officer Bryan Brown was killed in the line of duty on Thursday while he was trying to arrest an armed suspect who had been driving erratically.

The incident occurred before 9 a.m. on Aug. 27 when tribal police responded to the Desert Diamond Why Casino on the Tohono O’odham Nation, KPNX reported.

Manuel Osequeda Jr., chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation’s Hickiwan District, told the Arizona Republic that he had heard the suspect may have tried to ram a law enforcement vehicle.

Officer Brown was seriously injured while trying to arrest the suspect although authorities have not yet revealed what exactly happened, KPNX reported.

Roy Villareal, the chief patrol agent for U.S. Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, did not provide any details about the officer’s shooting and only said “injuries were reported,” the Arizona Republic reported.

Officer Brown was airlifted to a trauma center at a Phoenix hospital for treatment and died there, the KPNX reported.

Agent Villareal said U.S. Border Patrol agents were called in to assist tribal police “who were attempting to apprehend a subject in Why” at about 9 a.m.

Osequeda said that at that point, the scene moved to the nearby intersection of state highways 85 and 86, the Arizona Republic reported.

The suspect, whose name has not yet been released, was injured and tried to flee the area, but he was pursued by Border Patrol agents who captured and arrested him, according to KPNX.

The suspect was transported to a hospital for treatment of injuries.

Osequeda said the casino and that intersection had been locked down while authorities investigated, the Arizona Republic reported.

Tohono O’odham Nation land stretches from Tucson 100 miles west to Why, the Arizona Republic reported.

The casino is located on tribal land just outside the Why town limits.

Schools on the Tohono O’odham Nation were closed early on Thursday because of the shooting, the Arizona Republic reported.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is heading up the investigation into Officer Brown’s death.

Officer Brown’s older brother, Landon Brown, said that that his brother served in the U.S.
Army for 12 years, beginning with the first Gulf War, before he became a police officer.

“Bryan was my older brother and my hero,” Landon Brown told KPNX. “He loved and cared for everyone. He was a role model for so many including myself. He loved his job and he gave the ultimate sacrifice for it. He will be missed by many.”

“This is a sad day for the Tohono O’odham Nation, and our hearts go out to the family and friends of this fine officer who gave his life in the line of duty. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers,” Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Ned Norris Jr. said.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in memory of the fallen hero, KPNX reported.

“Arizona is saddened by the loss of Tohono O’odham Police Officer Bryan Brown,” Ducey tweeted in a statement on Thursday night. “He was committed to serving others and put his life on the line answering the call of duty. For that, Arizona will be forever grateful.”

“My sincerest condolences go out to Officer Brown’s loved ones as well as the Tohono O’odham Police Department,” the governor added.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Tohono O’odham Police Officer Bryan Brown, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Officer Brown, your life mattered.

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Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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