Police officer for Arizona American Indian community killed on duty

Reuters News
Posted: May 25, 2014 12:45 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A police officer on a Native American Indian reservation in Arizona was shot dead while sitting in his patrol vehicle after ordering a car to pull over, police said Sunday.

Jair Cabrera, an officer on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in metropolitan Phoenix, died early Saturday after being hit by a bullet that pierced the windshield of his police car, according to the Salt River Police Department.

Cabrera, 37, was the first officer to die on the reservation in the line of duty, the department said.

Cabrera had ordered the car to stop at a local gas station when the occupants opened fire, according to FBI spokesman Special Agent Perryn Collier. It was not clear if Cabrera had returned fire.

The three occupants of the car were taken into police custody and at least one was facing criminal charges, the FBI said.

The Salt River community is home to two Native American tribes: the Pima and the Maricopa, according to the community's website.

The police department was established in 1967 and investigates all tribal, state and federal crimes, the website said.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Lynne O'Donnell)