Cordes Lakes, AZ – Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) Sergeant Richard Lopez was murdered in the line of duty while trying to apprehend a suspect on Tuesday.
The fatal encounter occurred near Stagecoach Trail and Redrock Road at approximately 12:45 p.m. on June 28, The Arizona Republic reported.
Sgt. Lopez had responded to the area to investigate a report of a theft, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes said during a press conference shortly before midnight that Sgt. Lopez, 51, was trying to apprehend a suspect when he was shot, according to KSAZ.
Sheriff Rhodes did not provide details about the circumstances of the shooting or what led up to it.
Police said local residents immediately called 911 to get help for the wounded officer, KNXV reported.
Additional deputies found Sgt. Lopez unresponsive when they arrived at the scene.
They “immediately performed life-saving measures,” then took the wounded hero to the nearest fire department to be airlifted to the hospital, Sheriff Rhodes said, according to KSAZ.
Sgt. Lopez underwent emergency surgery at Honor Health Hospital Deer Valley in Phoenix before he succumbed to his injures, The Arizona Republic reported.
He was surrounded by his loved ones when he died, YCSO Spokesperson Kristen Green told reporters outside the hospital.
The gunman remained barricaded inside a residence for several hours before being taken into custody, KSAZ reported.
The suspect’s identity was not immediately released.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety is handling the ongoing investigation into the sergeant’s murder, KSAZ reported.
Sgt. Lopez served the YCSO for 14 years after a career in management, Sheriff Rhodes said.
“We’re hurt. Our agency is hurting,” the sheriff told reporters. “The violence against law enforcement, we are seeing it escalate everywhere, and it has got to stop. These are community servants. These are people that are out there serving the community, protecting life, liberty, and property, and they do not deserve this.”
The longtime sergeant, who lived in Prescott Valley, leaves behind a wife and two daughters.
The Yavapai County Sheriff is now speaking, and releasing the name of his deputy who was killed in the line of duty today. Deputy Richard Lopez was 51 years old. @FOX10Phoenix pic.twitter.com/8hIrdzmbSU
— Marissa Sarbak (@MarissaSarbak) June 29, 2022
The Maricopa Medical Examiner’s Office is preparing for the procession of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s deputy who was shot and killed in the line of duty in Cordes Lake today @12News pic.twitter.com/vZicFO0G7v
— Bianca Buono (@BiancaBuono) June 29, 2022
On June 28th, Yavapai County (Arizona) Sheriff's Office Sergeant Richard Lopez was shot & killed while attempting to arrest a suspect. (More info in reply section)
May he rest in peace.
Please Retweet to honor this hero & his ultimate sacrifice while on duty serving the people pic.twitter.com/sMGMX2ZABA
— Sgt. Rock 🇺🇸 (@SgtRockUSofA) June 29, 2022
Flags are at half staff outside the Medical Examiner’s Office in Phoenix. Sgt. Richard Lopez with @YavapaiSheriff was shot and killed yesterday in the line of duty. We’re hearing from the sheriff this morning on @abc15. I’m reporting what we know ahead at 5:30/6 pic.twitter.com/ICGjMtQ43X
— Amelia Fabiano ABC15 (@AmeliaFabianoTV) June 29, 2022
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Richard Lopez, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Sergeant Richard Lopez, your life mattered.