Tribal officer in metro Phoenix fatally shot

May 25, 2014 2:00PM (UTC)

PHOENIX (AP) — A police officer for an American Indian community in eastern metropolitan Phoenix was fatally shot during a traffic stop.

The officer for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community was shot early Saturday after he made contact with people in the vehicle, FBI spokesman Perryn Collier said.


Salt River police spokesman Det. Vicente Cendejas (SIN-day-haus) said the death of Jair Cabrera marks the first time that an officer in the community's police department was killed in the line of duty.

He told The Associated Press that three suspects are in custody.

It's unknown whether the 37-year-old Cabrera returned fire or the reason why he pulled over the vehicle.


KNXV-TV reports that a bullet fired by one of the suspects went through the officer's windshield, striking him.

Cabrera was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Salt River Police Chief Patrick Melvin said Cabrera had been a member of the department for seven years and loved and protected the community well.


The station says Cabrera is survived by his parents, a brother and his girlfriend.

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