Dalton Walker
Indian Country Today

A tribal officer in southern Arizona died Thursday after being seriously injured while apprehending a suspect, authorities said.

Tohono O'odham Police Officer Bryan Brown had responded to reports of a public disturbance by an armed and erratic driver in the community of Why, according to a release.

He was badly hurt during the apprehension and was airlifted to a Phoenix hospital, where he died.

The suspect was also transported to a hospital to be treated for injuries, the FBI said. 

The FBI confirmed it is investigating but did not give a cause of death or any other details about the officer or the suspect. The police department is also investigating.

“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,” Chairman Ned Norris Jr. said in a statement.

The U.S. Border Patrol responded to a shooting in Why at about 9 a.m. to assist tribal police, according to a tweet posted by Roy D. Villareal, chief patrol agent, U.S. Border Patrol Tucson sector

“Injuries were reported during this event,” he said. “The subject was placed into custody by USBP agents after he attempted to flee the area.”

Gov. Doug Ducey ordered flags at all state buildings be lowered to half-staff Friday.

“Arizona is saddened by the loss of Tohono O'odham Police Officer Bryan Brown,” Ducey said in a release. 

Brown was committed to serving others and put his life on the line answering the call of duty, the governor said.

"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."

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Dalton Walker, Red Lake Anishinaabe, is a national correspondent at Indian Country Today. Follow him on Twitter: @daltonwalker Walker is based in Phoenix and enjoys Arizona winters.

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