Friend says fallen Phoenix officer John Hobbs 'loved serving the community'

PHOENIX - A beloved father and husband. An officer dedicated to keeping drugs off the streets. And one who never backed down from a fight.

John Hobbs, a 21-year detective with the Phoenix Police Department, will be remembered as a hero, someone who risked his life to keep his community safe.

"John was in it for the fight. Let's get these bad guys behind bars, even if it meant putting myself in harms way. That's what John did," said Sean Mattson, a longtime friend and president of the Phoenix Police Sergeants and Lieutenants Association.

Hobbs, 43, was killed in the line of duty March 3, 2014, trying to apprehend a dangerous criminal near 43th Avenue and Bethany Home Road in Phoenix.

Mattson said met Hobbs 17 years ago when he was just a rookie. He said Hobbs was the best of the best.

"He loved serving the community. He loved being part of the solution," said Mattson. "He died doing what he loved."

A second officer was also injured, and is currently in the Intensive Care Unit at a local hospital, but is expected to recover.

The officers were part of an investigative team trying to apprehend William Thornton, 28, on a felony warrant, according to police.

Police said Thornton was released in January and was under investigation about a murder that occurred in February.

Police described Hobbs as "well-rounded, respected and professional" at a Tuesday morning press conference. They also said that he leaves behind a wife and three children, ages 6, 8 and 10.


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