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Flags at half-staff for Saturday funeral of slain White Mtn Apache officer

Flags will be flown at half-staff across Arizona on Saturday to mark the funeral of a White Mountain Apache police officer killed in the line of duty earlier this month.

Officer David Kellywood was shot and died on Feb. 17. Both Gov. Doug Ducey and tribal Chairwoman Gwendena Lee-Gatewood have ordered that flags be flown at half-staff in his honor.

Kellywood was shot while responding to a report of gunfire at the Hon-Dah casino, south of Pinetop-Lakeside, around 1 a.m. on Feb. 17, officials said. The suspect in the shooting was shot by another officer shortly after. Both the suspect and Kellywood were taken to a hospital, where they died.

The governor ordered that flags across the state be flown at half-staff Saturday, from sunrise to sunset, in Kellywood's memory. Lee-Gatewood declared a day of mourning and earlier this month 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 on the day of the shooting.

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 earlier this month.

The FBI is heading the investigation into the incident.

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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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