A domestic violence suspect Saturday shot and killed an Arizona police officer who was trying to contact him. Flagstaff Police Officer Tyler Jacob Stewart was shot multiple times, police said. The suspected shooter, Robert W. Smith, then turned the gun on himself.
Stewart, 24, a member of the Flagstaff Police Department, was pronounced dead at the Flagstaff Medical Center. He was shot in the face.
“This is an enormous tragedy for our department and the family of our officer,” Police Chief Kevin Treadway said, the Arizona Daily Star reported. “We are a very close-knit organization, and know that all members of the Flagstaff Police Department are grieving at this time. ... All of the men and women of the Flagstaff Police Department extend our prayers and condolences to the family.”
Stewart was trying to contact Smith as a person of interest in a domestic violence incident that was reported early Saturday, Sgt. Margaret Bentzen told the Daily Star. Smith shot at Stewart multiple times around 1:30 p.m. before turning the gun on himself, police said. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene.
Stewart graduated from Boulder Creek High School in Anthem, Arizona, and Concordia College in California before joining the Flagstaff Police Department. He had been on the force for less than a year.
“It is heartbreaking to lose one of our officers,” Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours said. “We collectively mourn for his family and the entire department.”