To Those Who Passed Before Us
On February 5th, 1925, Officer Haze Burch became the first Phoenix Police Officer killed in the line of duty. Officer Burch was shot by two men attempting to siphon gasoline from a car. Officer Burch died the following day. The assailants were later identified as two fugitives from Oklahoma wanted in the murder of a deputy sheriff in Texas. Governor W.P. Hunt and the city of Phoenix each offered rewards for the assailants who were later captured. Officer Burch was survived by his wife and three young children. It would be twenty-seven years before another officer was killed in the line-of-duty.
On February 19th, 1952, Motorcycle Officer Walter Stewart was killed when a truck turned in front of his police motorcycle and he swerved to avoid a collision. The motorcycle overturned and Officer Stewart died of head injuries. The driver fled the scene but was later arrested and charged with negligent homicide. Soon after this accident, all Phoenix motorcycle officers were required to wear helmets while on duty. Officer Stewart was thirty years old at the time of his death. He was survived by his wife and two young children.
On December 28th, 1970, Officer Albert R. Bluhm was shot and killed after stopping a stolen pickup. The suspects fired upon the officer as they hid in the camper shell of the truck. Officer Bluhm was struck three times and died of his wounds while attempting to radio his position to the dispatcher. A citizen notified the radio dispatcher of the dying officer’s location while other officers raced to his assistance. Officer Bluhm was forty years old at the time of his death. He was survived by his seventeen-year-old son.
On December 28th, 1970, Motorcycle Officer Dale Stone was killed while responding to the emergency call from Officer Bluhm who had been shot. Officer Stone drove through the intersection at 7th Avenue and Roosevelt and was struck by a vehicle with an impaired driver. The force of the impact caused Officer Stone to slide underneath another vehicle where he died. Officer Stone was a former Marine and had been a member of the Phoenix Police Department for fourteen months. He was survived by his wife.
On November 22nd, 1971, Motorcycle Officer Quincy Haywood was killed when a truck turned in front of his police motorcycle. The first officers on the scene rushed him to a nearby hospital where he died. Ironically, less than one year earlier, Officer Haywood had been following behind Officer Dale Stone who also died in a similar collision. Officer Haywood was twenty-nine years old at the time of his death and a four year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department. He was survived by his wife and two young sons.
On November 2nd, 1973, Officer Hemschmeyer was killed in a traffic accident while responding to another officer’s call for assistance. A sedan that had pulled over for the officer’s emergency lights was struck from behind by a garbage truck. The force of the collision threw the vehicle into the path of the approaching patrol car, killing the officer. Officer Hemschmeyer was thirty-two years old at the time of his death and a four year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department.
On June 16th, 1975, Officer Chavez was shot to death by a juvenile during a burglary of a Phoenix radiator business. Officer Chavez had entered the business after dispatchers received an anonymous tip that a burglary was in progress. The officer located the suspect and a struggle ensued. Officer Chavez was critically wounded but managed to radio for help before dying. Officer Chavez was twenty-two years old at the time of his death and an officer just over one year. He was survived by his wife.
On February 22nd, 1976, Police Guard MacInnis died of a heart attack while in foot pursuit of a suspect at the Sky Harbor International Airport. A passerby stopped to assist the guard. He was driven to a nearby hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. He had been a police guard for nine years. Police Guard MacInnis was survived by his wife, thirteen children and five grandchildren.
On April 22nd, 1976, Officer Del Gaudio was killed while in the pursuit of an impaired and reckless driver. The officer collided with another police car and then careened into the wall of a home. His death was instrumental in persuading the State Legislature to enact the Unlawful Flight statue. Officer Del Gaudio was twenty-six at the time of his death. He was survived by his wife who was five months pregnant.
On July 1st, 1982, Officer Conchos and his partner, John Davis, entered a Phoenix bar in search of a bank robbery suspect. Both officers were mortally wounded when the suspect began shooting inside the bar. Officer Conchos died a short time later. Officer Davis died one month after the shooting. The Veterans of Foreign War Post 720 had named Officer Conchos the department’s outstanding policeman. Officer Conchos was thirty-nine years old at the time of his death. He was survived by his wife and four children.
On July 1st, 1982, Officer Davis and his partner, Ignacio Conchos, entered a Phoenix bar in search of a bank robbery suspect. Both officers were mortally wounded when the suspect began shooting inside the bar. Officer Conchos died a short time later. Officer Davis died one month on August 2nd, 1982 after the shooting. He was a twelve-year veteran of the department and a member of the Robbery Detail. Officer Davis was forty-eight years old at the time of his death. He was survived by his wife and two children.
On January 29th, 1984, Officer Campbell was killed while in pursuit of a speeding motorcycle. The accident occurred when his patrol car skidded out of control and collided with another vehicle. Officer Campbell had been a member of the Phoenix Police Department for three years. He was twenty-eight years old at the time of his death. Officer Campbell was survived by his wife and young sons.
On April 24th, 1984, Officer Hawkins was killed by a passing pickup truck. He was on a nighttime undercover assignment attempting to cross a freeway frontage road when the accident occurred. Officer Hawkins helped establish a hostage/barricade negotiations unit and was a negotiator in hostage situations. He was thirty-four years old at the time of his death and a twelve year veteran. Officer Hawkins was survived by his wife and two young children.
On May 4th, 1984, Motorcycle Officer Polmanteer was killed in a head on collision with a van that turned in front of his motorcycle two weeks after Officer Hawkins death. Officer Polmanteer had been a police officer for fifteen years, five of which were with the Phoenix Police Department. He was thirty-seven years old at the time of his death. Officer Polmanteer was survived by his wife and three children.
On September 7th, 1984, Officer Forsythe was killed in a traffic accident while working off duty. He was directing traffic when he was stuck by a semi truck and killed. Officer Forsythe was a seven year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department and active in the police officers union. He was thirty-five years old at the time of his death. Officer Forsythe was survived by his wife, son and stepson.
On November 17th, 1984, Officer Robertson was shot and killed while working off duty at a Phoenix motel. He was in a motel parking lot questioning a suspect in the robbery of two truck drivers when the suspect shot Officer Robertson. Officer Robertson died two days later on November 19th, 1984. He was an eight year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department and thirty-one years old at the time of his death. Officer Robertson was survived by his wife and two young sons.
On January 8th, 1986, Officer Fike was shot and killed by an assailant at point blank range as he stood beside his patrol car. Two citizens saw the officer lying in a parking lot beside his car and radioed the police dispatcher for help. Officer Fike had been “Officer of the Year” in the Squaw Peak Precinct in 1982. He was a ten year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department and forty-three years old at the time of his death. Officer Fike was survived by his wife and two young sons.
On May 27th, 1988, Officer Collins was shot and killed while working off-duty at a bank. He had confronted the two suspects at the scene of the robbery when one of the suspects was able to shoot the officer and escape. Officer Collins died three hours later. One suspect was arrested while the other escaped to Mexico and remains at large. Officer Collins was an eight year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department at the time of his death.
On June 20th, 1990, Motorcycle Officer Briggs was killed while pursuing a speeding motorist. Officer Briggs swerved to avoid a motorist and struck a concrete median and tree. He had recently been chosen to be a Recruit Training Officer for the Phoenix Police Training Academy. Officer Briggs was twenty-seven years old at the time of death and had been a member of the department for seven years. He was survived by his parents.
On September 4th, 1991, Officer Kolodziej was shot and killed as he arrived on a 9-1-1 emergency call. He was struck several times by a barrage of bullets by a sniper barricaded in a Phoenix home. A construction worker was wounded and a cyclist was killed by the sniper. Officer Kolodziej was forty-three years old at the time of his death and was a nineteen year veteran. He was survived by his wife and three children.
On July 26th, 1990, Sergeants Tunney and his partner, John Domblisky, were killed when struck head on by a car that had crossed the centerline. Sergeant Tunney was forty-seven years old at the time of his death and was a twenty three-year veteran. He had played an important role in forming the bicycle patrol in downtown Phoenix. Officer Tunney was survived by his wife and four children.
On July 26th, 1990, Sergeants Domblisky and his partner, Danny Tunney, were killed when struck head on by a car that had crossed the centerline. Sergeant Domblisky was forty-two years old at the time of his death and was a seventeen year veteran. He was an experienced detective and had been the recipient of sixteen commendations during the previous nine years. Officer Domblisky was survived by his wife and two children.
On May 7, 1977, a drunk driver struck Sergeant Kieffer while at the intersection of 16th Street and McDowell. Sergeant Kieffer was rendered a quadriplegic from this accident. He continued to work for the department until retiring on September 13, 1991. On May 21, 1997, he died after succumbing to the injuries he had received twenty years earlier. Sergeant Kieffer was survived by his wife and children.
On March 26th, 1999, Officer Atkinson was following a suspicious vehicle with three male occupants in the area of 30th Avenue and Catalina. The driver lured Officer Atkinson into an industrial area where he was ambushed by gunfire and killed instantly. Officer Atkinson was a five-year veteran of the Phoenix Police Department. He was survived by his wife, and 7-month-old son.
On November 1, 1999, Officer Beuf contacted two suspicious persons in the area of 23rd Avenue and Lone Cactus. One suspect, in possession of drugs and wanted on fugitive warrants, ran and was chased by the officer. A struggle ensued, both the suspect and Officer Beuf fell into the roadway and were struck by a semi truck. Officer Beuf was killed instantly; the suspect survived the accident. Officer Beuf joined the Phoenix Police Department on June 1, 1998. Officer Beuf was survived by his wife and four children ages seven months, three, five and seven years.
On September 10, 2002, Officer Beryl "Wayne" Scott was killed in a motor vehicle collision while en route to assist in an unrelated DUI/fatality investigation. Officer Scott was south bound on North 7th Street at Thunderbird when another driver pulled out in front of him. Officer Scott's motorcycle struck the driver’s side door of the vehicle and was kill instantly. The other driver survived the accident. Officer Scott joined the Phoenix Police Department on November 19, 1991. He is survived by his wife, who was six months pregnant at the time of the accident. At the time of his death, Officer Scott was assigned as a motor officer and served as a liaison to the Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). Prior to joining the Phoenix Police Department, Officer Scott served as an officer for the El Mirage Police Department.
On May 10th, 2004, Officer Don R. Schultz #4410 became lodged underwater in a canal gate while participating in a Dive Team search for evidence in a death investigation at 19th Avenue and Hatcher. Officer Schultz was pulled from the water but was taken off of life support and passed away on May 12, 2004. Officer Schultz was a member of the department’s Air Support Unit as a Pilot in Command and granted Unit Rescue Pilot status. He was also a member of the Specialized Dive Team. His many awards included the Oficer of the Month in 1997 and 2002, the Medal of Life Saving in 1986, the Medal of Valor in 2000 and the Medal of Merit in 2002. Officer Don Schultz was survived by his wife and mother.
On August 28, 2004, several officers responded to emergency radio traffic of a shooting at apartments at 19th Avenue and Las Palmaritas. Upon their arrival, officers found a person suffering from a serious gunshot wound to his neck. Witnesses at the scene advised the suspect was in an upstairs apartment and may be holding other victims inside. Officers forced entry into the apartment and Officer Jason Wolfe #7215 and Officer Eric White #7275 immediately, sustained fatal gunshot wounds, another officer survived a gunshot would in his left hip area. The suspect died as a result of a self inflicted gunshot wound. Officer Jason Wolfe was 27 years old and was a four year veteran of the department. He was also married and left behind a 3 and 6 year old.
On August 28, 2004, several officers responded to emergency radio traffic of a shooting at apartments at 19th Avenue and Las Palmaritas. Upon their arrival, officers found a person suffering from a serious gunshot wound to his neck. Witnesses at the scene advised the suspect was in an upstairs apartment and may be holding other victims inside. Officers forced entry into the apartment and Officer Jason Wolfe #7215 and Officer Eric White #7275 immediately, sustained fatal gunshot wounds, another officer survived a gunshot would in his left hip area. The suspect died as a result of a self inflicted gunshot wound. Officer Eric White was 30 years old and was a four year veteran of the department. He was also married and leaves behind a 3 and 5 year old.
On May 10, 2005, Officer David Uribe #4276 was shot in the line-of-duty at 3400 West Cactus Road during a traffic stop of several individuals. Several citizens rendered aid to the fallen officer but he later passed away at John C. Lincoln hospital from his injuries. David joined the department on August 2, 1982 and served the community at the Maryvale Precinct and Cactus Park Precinct. During his 22 years as a Phoenix Police Officer he received numerous commendations and the Medal of Merit. David is survived by his wife, two sons, three daughters, and two stepsons. He is also survived by his mother, stepfather, father, sister, two brothers, and five grandchildren. Officer Uribe was 48 years old at the time of his death.
Officer Uribe was transported to John C Lincoln Hospital where he later died of his injuries.
On November 28th, 2005, Officer Salmon #8256 of South Mountain Precinct was involved in a single vehicle accident at 3100 West Baseline while responding to a domestic violence call. He was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital for medical care in extremely critical condition. Officer Salmon pass away as a result of his injuries on November 29, 2005. He is survived by his fiancée, mother, father, two sisters and four brothers.
On July 27, 2007 at 2050 hours Officer George Cortez #8232 responded to the a Check Cashing business at 2201 N. 83rd Ave responded to a call of a subject attempting to cash a verified forged check. The suspect, an adult male, was inside the store and was approached from behind by Officer Cortez who commenced the handcuffing process. During that process Officer Cortez was momentarily purposely distracted by an adult female suspect and the male suspect procured a hidden handgun with his still free hand and shot Officer Cortez in the face. Officer Cortez was pronounced at St. Joseph's Hospital. The suspects were last seen to be fleeing the scene in a vehicle but later arrested. Officer Cortez was a two year veteran of the department and is survived by his wife and two young sons.
On 09-18-2007 at about 0830 hours officers contacted three subjects at 24th Street and Pinchot Avenue. After obtaining the suspects’ identification and running them on the computer one suspect was found to have a warrant. While placing this suspect into custody he produced a weapon and shot Officer Nick Erfle. The suspect then committed a car-jacking, forcing the occupant to drive him away from the scene. Officer Erfle was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. SAU officers later located the vehicle in the area of 25th Avenue and McDowell Road at which time they confronted the suspect. An SAU officer subsequently shot and killed the suspect. The hostage in the vehicle was recovered unharmed. Officer Erfle is survived by his wife and two children.
On 10/25/08 at 0122 hours Officer Shane Figueroa of the Phoenix Police Department was driving his fully marked police vehicle northbound on S. 19th Avenue while responding to a series of shots fired calls. As he approached south Roeser Road, a vehicle was driving southbound and turned left in front of Officer Figueroa’s vehicle. The vehicle collided with Officer Figueroa’s vehicle which spun around and eventually impacted a block wall. Officer Figueroa sustained fatal injuries during this crash. The other driver had minor injuries and the passenger had serious injuries. The suspect was arrested for one count of manslaughter and one count of aggravated assault. He was also booked into jail for four warrants issued for various charges involving incidents in other jurisdictions. Officer Figueroa had served less than three years as a Phoenix Police Officer. He is survived by his wife and his 3 month old baby.
On May 26, 2010, at 0138 hours officers observed a vehicle driving erratically in the area of Indian School Road west of 19th Avenue. The driver fled from officers but later a call was broadcast in the area of 1926 W Fairmount, where a subject backed a vehicle into the carport of a vacant house and was covering it with a tarp. Officers Travis Murphy and his partner arrived and observed the suspect vehicle. They began searching the area on foot for the suspect. Officer Murphy walked along the front yard when the suspect opened fire on Officer Murphy with a rifle striking him several times. Officer Murphy returned fire but the suspect was not hit and fled on foot. Officer Murphy was immediately taken via police car to St. Joseph’s Hospital. He was communicating with fellow officers up until the time he arrived at the hospital. At 0333 hours Officer Murphy died during surgical attempts to stop the internal bleeding caused by his wounds. The suspect was found hiding in the area by officers and was taken into custody with non-serious Police K-9 bite injuries. Officer Murphy joined the Police Department on December 19, 2005. He was survived by his wife, daughter, and two week old son, parents, and step-brother.
On May 19, 2013, at approximately 3:30 a.m. Officer Daryl Raetz, #8899 and his partner were finishing processing of the scene from a DUI stop in the area of 51st Avenue and Cambridge. At that time, Officer Raetz was struck by another vehicle, which was traveling northbound on 51st Avenue. Officer Raetz was transported to St. Joseph’s hospital, where he died of his injuries. The suspect vehicle fled the scene. Officer Raetz was 29-years-old and had been with the department for approximately six years. He was assigned to the 81K squad in the Maryvale Precinct. He was also a veteran of the Iraqi War. Officer Raetz leaves behind a wife and young child.
On March 3rd, 2014, Officer John Hobbs #5624 and Officer Albert “A.J.” Casados III #8467 were attempting to make contact with a violent suspect. Upon contact with the suspect, Officer Hobbs and Casados became involved in a gun battle at which time Officer Hobbs was fatally wounded. Officer Hobbs was hired on the department on October 22nd, 1992 and had just completed his twenty-first year.
Officer Hobbs was survived by his wife and their three children. During this incident, Officer Albert “AJ” Casados III #8467 was also wounded; A. J. but recovered from his injuries.
On Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 at approximately 2:30 P.M., Officer David Glasser #8144 and several officers responded to report of a burglary in progress with the suspect, who was known to the resident, stealing firearms from the home in the area of 7700 South 48th Lane. Officers met the caller nearby and formed a team of six officers, including Officer Glasser, and headed to the residence. Upon their arrival, they found the armed suspect seated inside a vehicle in the driveway of the home, and a gunfight ensued. Officer Glasser was mortally wounded. The suspect was shot and died at the scene. Officer David Glasser was rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital in extremely critical condition, however on Thursday morning, May 19th, Officer Glasser died as a result of his injuries sustained in the shooting.
In death, he was able to help serve others as a organ donor. Officer Grasser was 34 years old at the time of his death. He was a 12-year member of the department assigned to the Maryvale Precinct Neighborhood Enforcement Team. Officer Glasser is survived by his wife and two small children as well as his parents, sister, and a close extended family.
Remembering Our K-9 Partners
On July 13, 1984, Officer Jeff Fenton stopped a drunk driver. Ofc. Fenton attempted to take the driver into custody when a struggle began. Roscoe jumped out of the patrol car to assist Officer Fenton. He took control of the suspects with the assistance of K9 Roscoe. Officer Fenton ordered Roscoe to go back to the patrol car when he was struck by a passing vehicle.
On October 20, 1994, Officer Ben Boyer responded to 1721 W. Carson to assist the Phoenix Special Assignment Unit with the apprehension of a homicide suspect barricaded in his home. K9 Dax was deployed to locate the suspect in the residence and was shot by the suspect using a 12-gauge shotgun. The suspect later shot at and injured SAU officers. The suspect ultimately died of injuries sustained during the shooting with the police.
On April 17, 1996 at 2:00 AM, K9 Officer Jeff Kozel and Hunter responded to the area of 3000 E. Cactus Rd. to a subject with a gun call. The subject was located in the backyard of a residence attempting to force entry. K9 Hunter was deployed into the backyard to apprehend the suspect and to allow officers enough time to evacuate the sleeping family. K9 Hunter was shot five times by the suspect and returned to Officer Kozel when called. K9 Hunter died in Officer Kozel's arms en route to the hospital. The suspect was arrested and convicted.
On Saturday August 13th, 2005, at approximately 1830 hours, several officers were pursuing a suspect for armed robbery. Officer Bryan Hanania and his police service dog R.J., were trying to apprehend the suspect after he fled from his vehicle on foot in the neighborhood of 2100 East Garfield. Officer Hanania and other officers chased the suspect into an alley where the suspect had reacquired his vehicle. As the officers were in the alley, the suspect drove rapidly in their direction. The suspect appeared to intentionally drive toward R.J. and struck the K-9 with his vehicle. The officers were able to avoid being struck by the car and the suspect was eventually apprehended by other officers.Officers immediately transported R.J. to an emergency clinic where he was diagnosed with critical injuries to include a broken spine. R.J. was euthanized as his injuries were determined to be insurmountable.