Manhunt underway after shooting of tribal police officer in Camp Verde

Feb 10, 2022, 8:42 AM | Updated: 5:03 pm

Valentin Rodriguez, left, is wanted in the shooting of Yavapai-Apache Police Sgt. Preston Brogdon. ...

Valentin Rodriguez, left, is wanted in the shooting of Yavapai-Apache Police Sgt. Preston Brogdon. Brogdon is pictured with his wife, Bailey. (Photos via Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)

(Photos via Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)

PHOENIX — The FBI is leading a manhunt for the suspect who shot a Yavapai-Apache Police Department officer in Camp Verde on Wednesday night, authorities said.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said Officer Preston Brogdon was shot around 7:30 p.m. and airlifted to a Phoenix hospital. He was in critical but stable condition, the Yavapai-Apache Nation said in a social media post.

The FBI said Valentin Rodriguez — a 5-foot, 9-inch Hispanic male who weighs around 160 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes — is wanted for questioning about the shooting.

Anybody with information about his whereabouts was asked to call the FBI in Phoenix at 623-466-1999.

Yavapai Silent Witness is offering a reward of up to $10,000 in cash for information leading to an arrest in the case. Anonymous tips can be submitted online or by calling 800-932-3232.

“The FBI and our partners continue to search for the suspect who fled on foot. This remains an ongoing investigation. As always, we encourage the public to remain vigilant and to promptly report suspicious activity,” the FBI Phoenix bureau said in a statement.

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone said searching for a suspect in a rural area can be difficult.

“You have unique dynamics where maybe the suspect is more familiar with the territory than some of the folks who are responding,” he told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Thursday.

“So search and search and arrest can be extremely difficult. Now you have a dangerous suspect on the loose. You don’t know who else they’re willing to harm. So it’s pretty complex.”

The Yavapai-Apache Nation said officers were responding to a call for shots fired when a man exited a vehicle and fired at officers, striking one, while fleeing on foot.

“The subject is considered armed and dangerous and the public is asked to stay out of the area until the search has ended,” the tribe said.

YCSO said Wednesday night the incident occurred near State Route 260 and Cherry Creek Road.

Camp Verde is 90 miles north of Phoenix around Interstate 17 and SR 260.

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Manhunt underway after shooting of tribal police officer in Camp Verde