A man accused of killing a police officer and holing up in an eastern Arizona cabin with a teenage girl believed to have been a hostage was shot dead Wednesday by officers after the suspect opened fire, authorities said.
The shooting of Daniel Erickson, 36, came after he pulled a gun Tuesday and shot Officer Darrin Reed of the Show Low police department when Read was responding to a report of a disturbance at a restaurant, the department said in a statement.
It was unclear whether Reed was shot inside or outside the restaurant in the town of about 10,000 people in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest.
Erickson fled following the shooting and was found at the rental cabin in the nearby community of Pinetop-Lakeside, where he barricaded himself inside with the girl, said Chief Deputy James Molesa of the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office.
“We assume that she was a hostage throughout the whole thing,” said Molesa.
The girl, who Molesa said was 14, was treated for minor injuries from glass shards. The Show Low department said she was 15. No other details about her were released.
Erickson’s death came after he fired at officers who had surrounded the cabin, and they returned fire, Molesa said.
Reed was married and had two children, a son and a daughter, CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO-TV reports. The former sheriff’s deputy was scheduled to retire from the Show Low police department in February, Molesa said.
“He was known and liked by everybody,” Molesa said. “This will be really tough for this area.”
No details were immediately disclosed about the restaurant disturbance and Molesa said investigators were conducting interviews to determine a possible motive for the officer’s shooting.
He said Erickson had no outstanding warrants for his arrest, but an Arizona Department of Corrections online profile for Erickson said that he served prison time over the past decade after being convicted of endangerment and a crime involving marijuana.
Authorities were also investigating whether the girl was at the restaurant with Erickson when the disturbance happened, Molesa said.
“We were under the impression it was an older woman but it might have been her,” he said.
The cabin was surrounded by a regional SWAT team after investigators determined Erickson was there, Molesa said.
The standoff went on for hours, and a state police SWAT team took over later because Molesa said the regional team needed to rest and it was best to have an outside agency handle the situation, not local officers.
“Everybody knew Darrin,” Molesa said.