***Please see update below.***
There should be a special ring of Hell devoted to hit-and-run drivers, if there isn't already. Not to mention that it must take a special kind of SOB to hit a cop and keep rolling.
Authorities currently are looking for the driver of a dark gray or green SUV that struck and killed Phoenix Police Officer Daryl Raetz early this morning, as he and his partner finished up with the scene of a DUI stop near 51st Avenue and Cambridge, on the west side.
According to the Phoenix Police Department's press release, Raetz, 29, was hit by the SUV, which was traveling north on 51st Avenue. He was taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix where he died of injuries.
A six-year vet of the PPD and an Iraq War veteran, Raetz is survived by a wife and a young child. He was assigned to a squad in the Maryvale precinct.
There is no description of the driver. The PPD say the SUV was large and raised, "possibly a dark gray or green 2004 to 2007 Ford Expedition or Lincoln Navigator," with fog lights and oversize rims.
The rear window might be tinted, and in a news conference this morning, PPD spokesman Tommy Thompson mentioned a one-foot-by-one-foot area of primer on the left side of the vehicle near the exhaust pipe.
Thompson said the SUV was last seen heading westbound on Thomas Road after striking Officer Raetz on 51st Avenue.
"We're asking the community," said Thompson, "if you have [seen] any vehicle that matches this description, that may have damage to the front end, please contact the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6151, or of course Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS, for Spanish it's 480-TESTIGO."
How much you wanna bet the driver was lit? Normally, this would not be the sort of item I'd handle, but the A-team over at Valley Fever is off, so I'm putting this out there for obvious reasons.
The full press release from the PPD is below.
UPDATE 6 p.m.:
From PPD Spokesman Tommy Thompson
The vehicle is a green Expedition and it was located by Surprise PD. Again, detectives are still working to identify the person who was driving when this incident occurred.
OFFICER INVOLVED FATAL HIT AND RUN COLLISION
Date and Time: 05-19-13, approximately 0336 hours Location: 51st Avenue and Cambridge
Report Number: 2013-00883229
Officer Involved: Daryl Raetz #8899 29-year-old male Six years with the Phoenix Police Department
Driver of Vehicle: Unknown
Vehicle: Large SUV Possibly a dark gray or green, Ford Expedition or Lincoln Navigator with primer on the rear area, tinted rear window, Oversized chrome wheels, fog lights
Shortly after 3:30 a.m. on May 19, 2013, Officer Daryl Raetz, #8899 and his partner were finishing the processing of the scene from a DUI stop in the area of 51st Avenue and Cambridge. At that time, Officer Raetz was struck by another vehicle, which was traveling northbound on 51st Avenue. Officer Raetz was transported to a local hospital, where he died of his injuries.
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Officer Raetz was 29-years-old and had been with the department for approximately six years. He was assigned to the 81K squad in the Maryvale Precinct. He was also a military veteran. Officer Raetz leaves behind a wife and young child.
Detectives are still searching for the suspect and suspect vehicle, which fled the scene. The vehicle is described as a dark colored large SUV. It is possibly a dark gray or green 2004 to 2007 Ford Expedition or Lincoln Navigator. Their may be some primer to the rear area of the vehicle. The rear window is believed to be tinted. In addition, the vehicle has oversized chrome rims and fog lights.
Anyone who may have information concerning who or where the suspect is, or where the vehicle may be is asked to contact the Phoenix Police Department at 602- 262-6151 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS, 480-TESTIGO for Spanish.
This was a tragic day for the Public Safety Team, which serves the city of Phoenix. In less than 12 hours, Phoenix Firefighter Bradley Harper, a 23-year-old husband and two year member of the Phoenix Fire Department and Officer Raetz both died in the line of duty. Firefighter Harper died as the result of a tragic accident at the scene of a fire. Both men lost their lives doing what they loved, serving our community. The entire community mourns their loss with the Public Safety Family.