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Arizona sheriff’s deputy fatally shot during theft call; suspect faces murder charge

Yavapai County sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Richard Lopez, 51, was shot Tuesday in Cordes Lakes while pursuing a man suspected of stealing, authorities said.
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/ Source: The Associated Press

CORDES LAKES, Ariz. — A Yavapai County sheriff’s deputy has died after being shot and a suspect is in custody, authorities said Wednesday.

Sgt. Richard Lopez was shot Tuesday afternoon in Cordes Lakes and flown to a Phoenix hospital where he later died, authorities said.

Sheriff’s officials said Lopez was a 14-year veteran of the department.

The 51-year-old Prescott Valley resident is survived by a wife and two daughters.

County Sheriff David Rhodes said at a late-night news conference that Lopez was pursuing a man suspected of stealing and the shooting occurred in a Cordes Lakes neighborhood.

Rhodes said Lopez was found unresponsive and was flown to HonorHealth Deer Valley Medical Center in Phoenix where he underwent surgery before he “ultimately succumbed to his injuries.”

The sheriff said a suspect was taken into custody following an hourslong barricade situation at his home and was being held on suspicion of first-degree murder at a Prescott jail.

The suspect’s name wasn’t immediately released.

“The violence against law enforcement, we are seeing it escalate everywhere, and it has got to stop,” Rhodes said. “These are community servants, these are people that are out there serving the community, protecting life, liberty and property. And we, they do not deserve this.”