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Hero Down: Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Richard Lopez Murdered By Gunman

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.

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.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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