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Gila River police officer dies after responding to disturbance

The officer, Joshua Briese, had been with the department for less than a year and was still in field training.

SANTAN, Arizona — A Gila River police officer died early Saturday morning after responding to a disturbance call at a home in Santan, authorities said.

The Gila River Public Safety Dispatch received an emergency call for service regarding a disturbance at a home in Santan, which is District 4 of the Gila River Indian Community. 

Officers were working to address the disturbance, which involved a large crowd at the home, when multiple gunshots were fired. Two officers were hit by gunfire, as well as four additional individuals at the scene, police said. 

The injured officers and individuals were taken to the hospital, police said. One of the officers is in serious but stable condition, one individual is dead, and one of the police officers also died, police said. 

At approximately 2 o’clock this morning, Gila River Public Safety Dispatch received an emergency call for service…

Posted by Gila River Police Department on Saturday, June 1, 2024

The officer who died has been identified as Joshua Briese, who had been with the department for less than a year and was still in field training. 

“Our hearts and prayers are with these police officers, their families, and everyone impacted by this tragic incident,” the Gila River Police Department said in a Facebook post.

Governor Stephen Roe Lewis said in a news release his office is working closes with law enforcement to make sure they have a “comprehensive understanding” of what happened during the incident.

“I know I speak for our entire Community when I say that we grieve for our fallen and injured police officers and every Community member touched by such tragic violence. Nothing cuts deeper than a life cut short,” Lewis said in a news release. “We will pray for our officers and their families, and for every Community member, every loved one, and every family impacted by what happened this morning. As we await further facts, our focus will be on finding a path to healing from this tragic incident.”

The Gila River Police Department is working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct a joint investigation of the incident, according to police.

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