Samantha Charley, 22, from Cudei, N.M., places bouquet of flowers next a flag pole Friday at the Shiprock Police Department in Shiprock, New Mexico, “I just came to pay my respects,” Charley said as she became emotional. (Navajo Times photo – Donovan Quintero)
NAVAJO INDIAN RESERVATION — The Navajo Nation is mourning the loss of Navajo Nation Police Officer Alex Yazzie, who was killed during a gun battle in the line of duty on Thursday evening near Red Valley, Arizona.
Related: Navajo Police Officer Killed in Line of Duty
Officer Yazzie was among 30 law enforcement officers who were involved in a capturing a man who was involved with in a domestic dispute that escalated into a deadly and tragic incident on the Navajo Indian Reservation. The incident lasted several hours and stretched over miles in remote areas of the Navajo Nation.
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly ordered all flags on the Navajo Nation to be flown at half staff as a means of honoring the slain police officer.
“The Navajo Nation mourns the loss of Alex Yazzie, a dedicated Navajo Police officer that gave his life in the line of duty to protect the lives of others,” President Shelly said. “We are deeply saddened over his sudden departure.”
The president condemned domestic violence and said the family disputes need to end, so tragedies like this are not repeated. “We must continue to watch for the warning signs and report them before the violence escalates. Take care of one another,” President Shelly said.
Flags will be at half-staff from March 20 through 23, 2015.
“Our Nation is mourning the loss of Officer Alex Yazzie who gave his life for our people. We have to offer our prayers today for the impacted families and children,” stated Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty, who represents the Red Valley chapter of the Navajo Nation.
Officer Yazzie was a Navajo Nation police officer since 2012. Yazzie was a former US Marine and returned to the Navajo Nation after four years of duty with the Marine Corps. Prior to becoming a Navajo Nation police officer, Yazzie served as a resource enforcement officer with the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency.