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Law enforcement and community remember Sgt. Rick Lopez as he’s laid to rest

Posted at 6:11 PM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 21:17:18-04

PRESCOTT, AZ  — The wind was the only audible sound as a procession passed through Prescott Valley, Arizona.

“You can see that Sgt. Lopez touched a lot of people,” says Yavapai Sheriff David Rhodes.

The red and blue blinking lights passed down Florentine Road.

“I didn’t’ know him personally,” says Linda Rae of Prescott, “But I knew all about him.”

With hands held over hearts, community members, law enforcement and even strangers showed up with signs of solidarity for the 14-year veteran Yavapai County Sgt. killed in the line of duty.

“He was a community servant in every sense of the word,” says Sheriff Rhodes. “I wanted to honor him and remember him and tell everyone who didn’t know him like I did, who he was.”

Sheriff Rhodes said the department had not lost a deputy in the line of duty in 49 years until last week.

An everyday hero by the words of Rhodes, Sgt. Lopez was shot in the line of duty on June 28 in Cordes Lakes.

His team coming to his aid after he was shot. “I know their hearts, they never thought twice about it,” says Rhodes.

Lopez later died of his injuries at a Valley hospital.

On Wednesday, a gun salute for the late sergeant who is remembered as a man of faith, and lover of Cubs baseball. Sgt. Lopez even left a wealthy career for one of service.

“The work and the purpose, and the calling that he felt was what was most important,” says Sheriff Rhodes.

Lopez leaves behind his wife, Kym and his two daughters, Anastasia and Katrina.

As Sgt. Lopez is called to his end of watch, Sheriff Rhodes says "he loved what he did, and he wouldn't have it any other way... We're going to miss you."

Robert McDowell, the man accused of shooting Sgt. Lopez was supposed to be in court Wednesday.

McDowell waived his right to the hearing, he faces a first-degree murder charge. His hearing is rescheduled for August 3.