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1st Phoenix police officer killed to be honored with refurbished headstone

Photo courtesy of Phoenix.gov

PHOENIX — The first Phoenix police officer that fell in the line of duty 95 years ago will be honored with a refurbished headstone.

William Hazelton “Haze” Burch was shot and killed while attempting to stop two men siphoning gasoline from a car in the area near 7th street and Jefferson on Feb. 5, 1925.

On Sunday at 1 p.m., his original gravestone will be restored and a new grave site memorial marker will be placed at his burial site at Greenwood/Memory Lawn Mortuary and Cemetery.

The public is invited to attend.

Burch’s grandson Frank Burch will be present for the gravesite dedication, along with other members of the Burch family and many retired officers. The Foundation of Retired Police Officers is donating the new gravesite memorial marker.

In an article on the City of Phoenix website, Frank said his grandfather was a stern but very kind man and a peacemaker.

He added Phoenix was a small town of about 35,000 at the time, and that gunshots were “rare.”

The two suspects who shot Burch were also prosecuted in two other separate murders.

One killed a deputy in Forth Worth Texas, and the other suspect killed a Montana police officer.

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