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Yavapai County sheriff’s deputy killed; suspect in custody

June 29, 2022 GMT

CORDES LAKES, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities on Wednesday released the name of a man suspected in the fatal shooting of a Yavapai County sheriff’s deputy.

Sheriff’s officials said Robert McDowell, 61, of Mayer has been booked into a Prescott jail on suspicion of first-degree murder.

It was unclear Wednesday if McDowell has a lawyer yet.

Sheriff’s officials said Sgt. Richard Lopez was shot Tuesday afternoon after a standoff with the suspect in Cordes Lakes, located about 69 miles (111 kilometers) north of Phoenix.

Lopez, 51, was airlifted to a Phoenix hospital where he later died.

Sheriff’s officials said Lopez was a 14-year veteran of the department and the Prescott Valley resident is survived by a wife and two daughters.

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

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Rhodes said Lopez was found unresponsive and was airlifted to HonorHealth Deer Valley Medical Center in Phoenix where he underwent surgery before he died from his injuries.

McDowell was taken into custody following an hours-long barricade situation at his Cordes Lakes home.

“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.”

He said his office has asked the Arizona Department of Public Safety to take over the investigation of the fatal shooting.

Rhodes said Lopez was affectionately known as R-Lo and “he left a career in management to come and work in public service and work in public safety.

“He served as a detective, he was a negotiator on our SWAT team,” Rhodes added. “We’re hurt. Our agency is hurting.”

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said Wednesday that he has ordered that the flags at all state buildings be lowered to half staff on Friday to honor Lopez “whose life was cut short by a senseless act of lawlessness.”