Navajo police officer killed by man holding family hostage

The slain officer worked for the Navajo Nation, a tribal government that covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

Story highlights

  • A man holds his family hostage with an AR-15, police respond
  • The man shoots at Navajo Nation officers, killing 1 and wounding 1
  • The suspect is shot to death hours later in Red Valley, Arizona

(CNN)A man armed with an assault rifle held his family hostage and shot and killed a Navajo Nation police officer Thursday evening, the Native American tribal government said.

The suspect fled, and was shot to death hours later.
The slain officer, who was not immediately identified, was one of two Navajo Police officers shot after a domestic violence call came in around 4 p.m. (6 p.m. ET) Thursday, according to a statement from the Navajo Nation.
    The officers were responding to a report that a man with an AR-15 rifle was holding his family hostage.
    That same man shot at the Navajo Police, then ran.
    A manhunt ensued involving officers from the Navajo Nation's Window Rock and Crownpoint districts.
    It ended with word around 10:30 p.m. that the suspect was shot to death in the northern Arizona city of Red Valley, just over the border from New Mexico, according to the Navajo Nation government. It was not immediately clear how he died -- whether it was from a shootout with police or a self-inflicted wound.
    The wounded officer is being treated in the Shiprock-Northern Navajo Medical Center. The officer's condition was not immediately known.
    "We send our condolences to the family of the Navajo Police officer who gave his life in the line of duty," Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly said. "... The family will be in our prayers."
    The Navajo Nation straddles northeast Arizona, northwest New Mexico and southeast Utah, compassing some 27,000 square miles -- an area larger than West Virginia. Along with a distinctive, centuries-old culture, the autonomous jurisdiction boasts what its website calls "the largest and most sophisticated form of American Indian government."