A candlelight vigil was set for Sunday night in northern Arizona for a 24-year-old police officer who was fatally shot by a domestic violence suspect who then killed himself. Flagstaff Officer Tyler J. Stewart died Saturday at Flagstaff Medical Center shortly after the shooting, police said.
Stewart had responded to a domestic violence call at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday when he encountered the suspect — identified as Robert W. Smith, 28, of Prescott — at a home on the city's west side, police Sgt. Margaret Bentzen said.
She said Smith fired several shots at Stewart as he stood outside his patrol car, striking the officer, before turning the gun on himself. Smith died at the scene. Investigators do not believe Stewart fired any shots, but an investigation was ongoing Sunday, Bentzen said. Stewart had worked at the department for less than a year.
"This is an enormous tragedy for our department and the family of our officer. We are a very close knit organization, and know that all members of the Flagstaff Police Department are grieving at this time. With that being said, all of the men and women of the Flagstaff Police Department extend our prayers and condolences to the family of our Officer Tyler Stewart," Chief Kevin Treadway said in a statement.
"It is heartbreaking to lose one of our officers," Mayor Jerry Nabours said. "We collectively mourn for his family and the entire department." The vigil planned by Stewart's family and the Flagstaff Police Department was set for 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Officer Down Memorial Statue in front of the agency's headquarters.