Yavapai County Sheriff’s deputy killed in shooting with suspect, who is in custody

Jun 29, 2022, 6:13 AM | Updated: 2:52 pm

Yavapai County Sgt. Richard Lopez (Photo via Officer Down Memorial Page) Robert McDowell (Photo via Yavapai County Sheriff's Office)

PHOENIX — A Yavapai County Sheriff’s deputy was killed Tuesday afternoon in a shooting with a suspect, who was taken into custody, authorities said.

Sgt. Richard Lopez, 51, of Prescott Valley, died after being airlifted to a Phoenix hospital.

The suspect, identified Wednesday as 61-year-old Robert McDowell of Mayer, was arrested following an hourslong barricade situation in Cordes Lakes. He was booked for first-degree murder.

“We’re hurt; our agency is hurting,” Sheriff David Rhodes said at a late-night press conference in Phoenix on Tuesday.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered state buildings to lower their flags to half staff on Friday to honor Lopez.

“This needless violence is truly terrible,” Ducey said in a press release. “Arizona will always stand with our brave law enforcement. Sgt. Lopez was an incredible community servant whose life was cut too short by a senseless act of lawlessness.”

Rhodes said Lopez was pursuing a theft suspect around 1:30 p.m. After the chase led to a Cordes Lake neighborhood, residents began calling 911 reporting an officer was in trouble.

Deputies reached the area of Stagecoach Trail and Red Rock Road and found Lopez unresponsive. They brought him to a fire station, where emergency personnel airlifted him to HonorHealth Deer Valley Medical Center.

Lopez will be brought back to Prescott Valley on Wednesday in an honor motor procession starting at 7 p.m. in Phoenix and heading up Interstate 17 to State Route 69 before ending at the Sunrise Funeral Home.

The procession is expected to arrive in the Prescott Valley area between 8:30 and 9 p.m.

Lopez was with the department for 14 years after leaving a career in management to work in public safety, Rhodes said.

He is survived by his wife and two daughters.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office is accepting donations to benefit Lopez’s family. Checks, money orders/cashier’s checks or cash can be dropped off in person or mailed to 255 E. Gurley Street, Prescott, AZ 86301.

Checks should be made out to YCSO Employee Fund with “Benevolence Fund: Richard Lopez” on the memo line.

“The violence against law enforcement, we’re seeing it escalate everywhere and it has got to stop,” Rhodes said.

“These are people out there serving the community, protecting life, liberty and property and they do not deserve this.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Yavapai County Sheriff’s deputy killed in shooting with suspect, who is in custody