updated 6/1/2008 9:53:31 PM ET 2008-06-02T01:53:31

A police officer who was shot in the head during a crosstown chase and shooting spree died Monday, authorities said.

Officer Erik Hite, 43, was struck during an hour-long pursuit Sunday of a camouflage-dressed gunman who shot at homes from a car. Two Pima County sheriff's deputies were also shot and wounded less seriously.

Hite, 43, died at University Medical Center, police spokesman Sgt. Mark Robinson said. Hite joined the police force four years ago after 21 years in the Air Force.

David Nickolas Delich is charged with suspicion of first-degree murder. Delich, 25, had previously been booked on suspicion of four counts of attempted first-degree murder, three counts of aggravated assault and two counts of discharging a firearm at a structure.

A magistrate on Monday ordered Delich jailed on $2.5 million bond, half the amount prosecutor David Berkman requested.

Investigators believe Delich confronted a neighbor several weeks ago, which may have led to his firing several dozen rounds Sunday into the neighbor's home and another next door.

The shots and calls to 911 triggered a cross-town chase by sheriff's deputies and police and resulted in Hite's shooting.

Attorney Brick Storts, who appeared Delich's behalf Monday, said the dispute with neighbors may have played a role. "I do know there was a confrontation with some neighbors, and that may well be what started this whole series of events," Storts said.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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