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A history of sacrifice--local officers killed in line of duty

Federal, Tucson, Pima County officers
Posted at 7:48 PM, Oct 04, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent killed in Tucson Monday was the fifth line of duty death of a law enforcement officer in the last 18 years.

The shooting was an unneeded reminder of the dangerous life of law enforcement where any routine day can turn deadly.

It was late November 2018 when Deputy U.S. Marshal Chase White was at work on one of the Marshals specialties, bringing in dangerous suspects.

In this case it was a man charged with making threats to a Tucson Police Officer. Marshals say when they arrived, the man fired at them through a window, and hit Chase White. The man charged with Marshal White’s murder is still waiting for trial.

In June 2008 Tucson Police Officer Erik Hite was looking for a suspect who had already shot up a neighbor’s house and was moving across the county firing at anyone who tried to stop him. The suspect wounded a Sheriff’s Deputy, and Officer Hite. Officer Hite died the next day. The gunman has been diagnosed with mental illness. He pleaded guilty to first degree murder in an agreement that will hold him for life in a secured mental hospital or state prison.

In August 2005 Pima Sheriff’s Deputy Timothy Graham went to a convenience store for a suspicious person call. The suspect fought him as they fell into traffic. A civilian tried to help deputy Graham. An oncoming vehicle hit and killed all three.

In May of 2003, what seemed like a simple hit and run accident led to the death of Officer Patrick Hardesty. He found a suspect. The suspect struggled and in that struggle Officer Hardesty was shot five times. That suspect is awaiting execution.

The community has remembered the fallen officers in various ways. An organization helped Marshal White’s family pay off their mortgage.

Officer Hite’s widow created a foundation that supports first responders with child care, and summer camp scholarships.