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Suspect Wanted For Shooting Arizona Cop Captured Dead, Found Floating In Verde River

Camp Verde, AZ – The alleged gunman accused of shooting a Yavapai-Apache Police Department (YAPD) sergeant last month was found dead in the Verde River near the Tunlii crossing, investigators confirmed Thursday.

YAPD Sergeant Preston Brogdon was shot in the abdomen after responding to a call of gunfire in the area of Cherry Creek Road and State Route 260 at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 9, KNXV reported.

The attack occurred on the Yavapai-Apache Indian Reservation at the Tunlii housing area, according to police.

“Upon arrival, a male subject exited a vehicle, fled on foot and began shooting at the officers,” the YAPD said in a press release the following day. “One of the officers was struck.”

Sgt. Brogdon, a five-year veteran of the department, was rushed to a hospital in critical condition and has since been listed in stable condition.

The alleged gunman fled the scene, leading to a manhunt, KNXV reported.

Police identified him as 39-year-old Valentin Rodriguez.

Weeks later, on Feb. 25, a man and his son were fishing on the Verde River when they spotted a body in the water, the YAPD said in a press release.

They immediately called 911.

Law enforcement officers from the YAPD, the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) responded to the scene.

The human remains recovered from the water were preliminarily identified as Rodriguez.

“Formal identification of the body is pending and the cause of death is not yet known, however personal items on the body have led law enforcement to tentatively believe it to be the suspect Rodriguez,” the YAPD said at the time.

His identity was confirmed Thursday following an autopsy, KNXV reported.

Rodriguez’s cause of death was not released and an FBI investigation into the incident remains ongoing.

Sgt. Brogdon was airlifted to a level one trauma center in Phoenix immediately after the attack, according to a fundraising page established to help him and his family during his lengthy recovery.

The married father-of-four has undergone multiple surgeries and is continuing to recover, KNXV reported.

Donors have contributed more than $13,600 to the fundraiser so far.

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.

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Written by Holly Matkin

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