Two individuals killed and four injured by gunfire at Phoenix-area home, including tribal police officer


PHOENIX (AP) — Two people, including a tribal police officer, were killed in a shooting early Saturday at a home in the Gila River Indian Community south of Phoenix. At least three other people were wounded in the incident, according to authorities.

Following a 911 call reporting a disturbance at a home in Santan, officers arrived at the scene at around 2 a.m., but details regarding the incident were not immediately clear, the Gila River Police Department statement read.

The FBI and tribal police are investigating the incident in what was described as “a large scene” by FBI Phoenix spokesman Kevin Smith in an email.

During the initial response, officers encountered a large crowd and multiple gunshots were fired, resulting in two officers and four other individuals being struck by the gunfire, the police statement noted. Among the injured, Officer Joshua Briese and one other person identified as a Gila River Community member succumbed to their injuries after being transported to hospitals.

While Briese had been a police officer for less than a year and was still in field training, the department’s spokesperson Teaya Enos refrained from providing additional information about the incident.

Authorities refrained from disclosing further details such as the total number of individuals present at the home during the shooting, the reasons behind the gunfire, whether officers discharged their firearms, or whether any arrests were made immediately following the incident.

Tribal Gov. Stephen Roe Lewis expressed his condolences in a statement, saying, “Nothing cuts deeper than a life cut short.” He mourned the loss of the fallen and injured police officers and all community members affected by the violence.

“We are coordinating closely with law enforcement to make sure we have a comprehensive understanding of what happened here,” Lewis added.

Tom Palmer
Tom Palmer
Digital Reporter based in Chicago. Tom has worked on the digital side of the Chicago Tribune and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newsrooms for over twenty years. He is a Marquette journalism graduate and originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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