Viewing, funeral service to be held for Phoenix-area police officer
PHOENIX — A viewing and funeral service will be held next week for a Phoenix-area police officer who died from a seizure while chasing a suspect.
According to the El Mirage Police Department, the viewing for officer Paul Lazinsky, 58, will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 20 at Dignity Funeral Home in Surprise.
The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Dec. 21 at Radiant Church in Surprise.
Gov. Doug Ducey said flags will be flown at half-staff on the day Lazinsky is buried. Ducey also ordered flags to fly at half-staff on Wednesday, one day after Lazinsky died after having a seizure during a pursuit.
“His tragic death is a reminder of the sacrifices our law enforcement make each time they put on their uniform and head out the door,” Ducey said in a release.
“My sincere condolences go out to the family and loved ones of Officer Lazinsky, as well as the entire El Mirage community.”
Lazinsky was assisting other officers with a call near Grand Avenue and Acoma Drive when the suspect fled on foot.
He gave chase but collapsed. Other officers performed first aid on the scene and he was taken to a hospital, where he died.
“To my knowledge, this may be the first police officer to die in the line of duty for the El Mirage Police Department,” Police Chief Terry McDonald said.
The suspect was a juvenile and will not be identified. McDonald said he did not think the suspect and Lazinsky had any physical contact.
Lazinsky was expected to retire next year after starting at the department in 2000. He served 20 years in the Army before becoming a police officer.
He is survived by a wife and three children.
McDonald said Lazinsky was one of the first officers he met when he joined the department six years ago.
“[Lazinsky] was the absolute voice of reason and was a pleasure to have on board as an officer,” the chief said.