MAYER, AZ — A sergeant with the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office was shot and killed in the line of duty while responding to a call Tuesday.
Yavapai County Sheriff's say Sgt. Richard Lopez, 51, was trying to apprehend a suspect after a theft call when he was shot in a Cordes Lakes neighborhood near Stagecoach Trail and Red Rock Road.
Officials say residents called 911, and when police arrived, Lopez was unresponsive. He was airlifted to a Valley hospital but did not survive.
Lopez was surrounded by family at the hospital before his death, according to a YCSO spokesperson.
Lopez was a member of the Yavapai County Sheriff's Department for 14 years.
What led to the incident is not yet known, but YCSO says the suspect barricaded himself in the area and was eventually taken into custody.
The suspect has been identified as 61-year-old Robert McDowell. He has been booked into jail on a first-degree murder charge.
It's unclear whether the suspect was injured in the incident.
ABC15 spoke to Carl Dahlin, a neighbor in the area, who says, "it happened four doors down from me. It's scary, I was worried about my children. I was coming home."
A procession in honor of the deputy began just after 8 p.m. at Deer Valley Medical Center.
Lopez leaves a wife and two daughters.
YCSO Sheriff Rhodes says the community and sheriff's department are shocked, saddened, heartbroken and angry.
The Arizona Department of Public Safety is taking over the investigation.
A second procession began Wednesday evening from Phoenix to Prescott.
ABC15 spoke to Destiny Milchelson, Sgt. Lopez' former neighbor, as she waited outside alongside many others at the Maricopa Medical Examiner's Office .
"I heard this was happening, so wanted to come out here and pay my respect,” said Michelson.
As a child, she was Sgt. Lopez's neighbor and a friend of his daughters.
She streamed the procession for her mother to see while thinking of the deputy's family.
"It's sad because they are never…he is not going to be there for a lot of the things they are going to go through. I can just imagine the heartbreak and the devastation,” added Michelson.
"He was just an amazing man, amazing father and great friend,” said Carie Schultz.
Schultz shared a 25-year friendship with Sgt. Lopez.
Anyone that is interested in helping Lopez's family, YCSO has released the following ways to donate:
"If you would like to donate, you can send checks, money orders/cashier’s checks or bring cash to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. All checks must be made out to YCSO Employee Fund with, “Benevolence Fund: Richard Lopez” written on the memo line.
These funds can be mailed or brought to: The Sheriff’s Office, Attention Kelly Fraher, 255 East Gurley Street, Prescott, AZ 86301."