Following the tragic incidents that claimed the lives of Phoenix Police officer Daryl Raetz and Phoenix firefighter Bradley Harper Sunday morning, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer released a statement honoring their courageous efforts and service to the community.
“Arizonans awoke to tragedy this morning with the news that two of our State’s brave first responders – a Phoenix firefighter and police officer – died overnight following separate incidents in the line of duty. Both men were killed while in service to the community they loved; both leave behind a family that grieves; both are to be honored and remembered for the boundless sacrifice they have made.
“Firefighter Bradley Harper, 23, was fatally injured while battling a mulch fire when he was pinned between two emergency vehicles. Police Officer Daryl Raetz, 29 and a veteran of the Iraq War, was killed in the early morning hours when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver. Officer Raetz was processing a suspected impaired motorist along the side of the road. The relatively routine circumstances in which Firefighter Harper and Officer Raetz were killed only underscores the danger our first responders face daily.
“No words of mine can ease sorrow this deep for the family and friends of these two men, nor the brothers and sisters in uniform who served alongside them. But we can hold high their memory – and in so doing honor the service and sacrifice of those who daily risk their lives on behalf of ours.
“On this day of mourning, I offer a prayer for Bradley Harper, Daryl Raetz and their loved ones who have lost so much. I ask that you do the same.
“In honor of Phoenix Firefighter Bradley Harper and Phoenix Police Officer Daryl Raetz, I have ordered that State flags be flown at half-staff until sunset today – Sunday, May 19, 2013 – as well as on the day of internment for both men, for which services are pending.”