Officer Erik Hite succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained the previous day by a suspect who had wounded a Pima County Sheriff’s Department deputy.
The suspect had fired a rifle into the homes of two neighbors and then fled as the first responding deputy arrived at the location. As the deputy pursued him, the suspect opened fire and wounded him.
Members of the Tucson Police Department spotted the vehicle a short time later and continued pursuing it even as the suspect continued to fire at them. The suspect then turned off the main road onto a residential street where he stopped his vehicle and setup an ambush.
As Officer Hite turned the corner onto the street, the suspect opened fire from a distance of approximately 80 yards, striking Officer Hite in the head.
The suspect continued to flee and wounded another deputy before finally surrendering.
Officer Hite was a U.S. Air Force veteran and had served with the Tucson Police Department for 4 years. He is survived by his wife, adult son, 1-year-old daughter, and parents.