Former Wind River Indian Reservation police officer killed in Arizona shooting on Fort Apache reservation

By Clair McFarland, Cowboy State Daily

A former Wind River Indian Reservation police officer was fatally shot in Arizona on Thursday when a traffic stop turned into a shooting, authorities say.

Officer Adrian Lopez Sr., 35, died Thursday while on duty, the Navajo County, Arizona Sheriff’s Office confirmed to the Cowboy State Daily on Monday.

Lopez served on the Wind River Indian Reservation as a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer in 2021.

“We extend our condolences to the family of Officer Lopez, who not long ago served on the Wind River Indian Reservation,” the Eastern Shoshone Tribe announced on its social media page on Saturday. .

Lopez, a White Mountain police officer serving on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona, had stopped a car driven by Kevin Dwight Nashio, 25, of Whiteriver, law enforcement officials said in a televised news conference.

Nashio allegedly shot and killed Lopez, stole his police vehicle and led other officers on a 40-mile car chase.

“During this vehicle chase in a very primitive and rugged area, a shootout occurred between officers and the suspect as he fled,” said Navajo County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Brian Swanty. during the press conference.

Nashio crashed the vehicle into a tree, then engaged in a firefight with Sgt. Lonnie Thompson, 29. Nashio was killed and Thompson suffered non-life-threatening injuries, ABC News reported.

“Last night a woman lost her husband,” Kacey Velasquez, president of the White Mountain Apache Tribe, said at the press conference. “The children have lost their father. Our tribe has lost a beacon of light.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation took over the investigation, but did not respond Monday morning to a voicemail requesting comment.

Nohemi M. Moore