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Tohono O'odham police officer killed near S. Az casino

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Tohono O'odham police officer killed near S. Az casino

An officer with the Tohono O'odham Police Department died after he was shot during an altercation Thursday morning at the casino near Why, Ariz., officials said.

Officer Bryan Brown was killed in the incident.

The incident happened around 9 a.m. near the Desert Diamond Why Casino, which sits at the western edge of the Tohono O'odham Nation, near the unincorporated village of Why on Highway 86, about 100 miles west of Tucson.

The officer was responding to reports of a "public disturbance by an armed and erratic driver," said the Tohono O'odham Police Department,. As officers attempted to apprehend the driver, one officer suffered a serious injury, and was airlifted to a hospital in Phoenix, where he was pronounced dead, the police department said. 

The man suspected of shooting the officer attempted to flee the scene, but was apprehended by TOPD, with the assistance of U.S. Border Patrol agents.

"The suspect is in custody, receiving medical care for injuries," officials said. 

"This is a sad day for the Tohono O’odham Nation, and our hearts go out to the family and friends of this fine officer who gave his life in the line of duty. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers," said Ned Norris Jr., chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation.

Flags across Arizona were ordered lowered from sunrise to sunset on Friday in honor of Brown by Gov. Doug Ducey.

"Arizona is saddened by the loss of Tohono O'odham Police Officer Bryan Brown," Ducey said in a news release. "He was committed to serving others and put his life on the line answering the call of duty. For that, Arizona will be forever grateful. My sincerest condolences go out to Officer Brown’s loved ones as well as the Tohono O'odham Police Department."

On Twitter, the chief of the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector, Roy Villareal, said that at 9 a.m., agents responded to a request to assist officers who were "attempting to apprehend a subject in Why," and that "injuries were reported."

The FBI is investigating the incident, along with the Tohono O’odham Police Department, said Jill McCabe, a spokeswoman for the FBI. "This is an ongoing investigation. No other information is available at this time," she said.

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