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Flags at half-staff for slain White Mtn Apache officer

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Flags at half-staff for slain White Mtn Apache officer

A White Mountain Apache police officer was killed in the line of duty Monday morning, and both Gov. Doug Ducey and tribal Chairwoman Gwendena Lee-Gatewood have ordered that flags be flown at half-staff to honor Officer David Kellywood.

Kellywood was shot while responding to a report of gunfire at the Hon-Dah casino, south of Pinetop-Lakeside, around 1 a.m. Monday, officials said. The suspect in the shooting was shot by another officer shortly after. Both the suspect, whose identity has not been released, and Kellywood were taken to a hospital, where they both died.

The governor ordered that flags across the state be flown at half-staff on Tuesday, from sunrise to sunset, in Kellywood's memory. Lee-Gatewood declared a day of mourning Monday, as well as on the day of the officer's funeral, which has not been scheduled. She also authorized that flags on the White Mountain Apache Reservation be flown at half-staff until the day after the funeral.

"The people of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, the Whiteriver Police Department, officers, staff, and those who associated with (the) officer are deeply affected by this tragic loss. We grieve with his loved ones, to support this community, to pray for all those who suffer loss and try to find some meaning, amidst our sorrow," the chairwoman said.

A McNary, Ariz., native, Kellywood joined the department nine months ago after graduating from the police academy, Ducey said.

"This heartbreaking loss is another reminder of the danger our law enforcement officers face every day to keep others safe. Our prayers are with Officer Kellywood’s wife, children and loved ones as well as the White Mountain Apache Tribe," the governor said.

The FBI is heading the investigation into the incident.

Kellywood is the first law enforcement officer in Arizona to be killed in the line of duty since the shooting death of Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White in Tucson in November 2018.

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