Hobbs: Flags to half-staff Saturday to honor Gila River Officer Joshua Briese

Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs has ordered flags at all state buildings to be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Saturday, June 8, in remembrance of Gila River Police Officer Joshua Briese, who was killed in the line of duty on June 1.

Briese’s father, a deputy in Montana, was killed on duty 18 years ago.

“This is a devastating loss for our community. Officer Briese was just getting started in his career in law enforcement, following in his father’s footsteps of service,” the Democratic governor said in a news release. “Officer Briese will be remembered for his selflessness and bravery and our thoughts are with his family and the Gila River Police Department during this time of mourning.”

Briese, 23, was shot and killed around 2 a.m. last Saturday while responding to a house party where a disturbance had been reported, Gila River Police Department officials said. The incident took place in the San Tan area of the Gila River Indian Community, which is south of Chandler, near the Interstate 10 bridge over the Gila River.

“As the responding officers worked to address the disturbance, which involved a large crowd, multiple gunshots were fired,” the department said.

A second officer was also shot and seriously wounded, but survived, police said. Four others were also wounded in the shooting incident, with one of them killed. Two suspects were arrested, FBI officials said.

Briese had been with the department less than a year and was still undergoing field training, the department said.

Joshua Briese’s father, David Briese, was a deputy with the Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office in Montana who was killed in a 2006 car crash while responding to back up another officer.

“All we can say is godspeed and rest easy, knowing Dave and Josh are together again, both left this world serving their community and doing what they loved,” that agency said in a Facebook post.

Individuals, businesses, and other organizations are encouraged to join in the tribute to the GRIC officer, Arizona state officials said.