'Tragic day' in Phoenix as two first responders killed in line of duty

PHOENIX - City officials and the community are reacting after two first responders--a firefighter and a police officer-- were killed in the line of duty in two separate incidents this weekend.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia, Phoenix Fire Chief Bob Khan and Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson spoke at a news conference Sunday morning.

"We lost two of our heroes," said Mayor Stanton. "Pray for the families and safety of our officers and firefighters."

23-year-old firefighter Bradley Harper passed away overnight due to injuries he sustained after he was pinned between two emergency vehicles working to fight a mulch fire Saturday evening, said Tommy Thompson of the Phoenix Police Department.

Police Officer Daryl Raetz, 29, and a six-year veteran, was hit by a vehicle while working to process a DUI incident, said Sgt. Steve Martos of the Phoenix Police Department. The driver fled the scene and is currently being sought by police.

Martos tweeted, "One of Phoenix Fire's bravest and one of Phoenix Police Department's finest have fallen this morning" Sunday morning.

The Arizona 100 Club tweeted, "Our hearts are heavy for the City of Phoenix, law enforcement & fire agencies & their families everywhere. There are no words."

Mayor Stanton said the City of Phoenix will honor the two fallen first responders in the next couple of days.

"The people of the City of Phoenix honor, respect and love our firefighters and police officers," said Stanton.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer ordered flags be flown at half-staff until sunset on Sunday in honor of the fallen first responders. Flags will also be held at half-staff on the day of the service members' funerals.

"I offer a prayer for Bradley Harper, Daryl Raetz and their loved ones who have lost so much. I ask that you do the same," Brewer said in a released statement.

Silent Witness is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the drive involved in the hit-and-run crash. Police did release a description of the vehicle.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6151. Those wishing to remain anonymous may call Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO.



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