Phoenix AZ Oct 20 2010 police on Tuesday identified the police sergeant who was shot and killed near the state Capitol as 12-year veteran Sgt. Sean Drenth.
Phoenix police had become concerned about the whereabouts of Drenth, 34, when he didn’t respond to radio calls late Monday. Officers searched for Drenth beginning about 10 p.m. Monday.
Less than an hour after the search began, Capitol Police found what they thought was an abandoned police cruiser in an alley behind a parking lot near 17th Avenue and Jefferson Street. Drenth’s body was nearby.
At a news conference Tuesday morning, Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris said investigators were still on the scene.
“Our thoughts and prayers are certainly with his family, and we will be doing everything humanly possible to find out what happened,” Harris said.
Phoenix police have not ruled out any possibilities, Sgt. Trent Crump said at the news conference.
“We do have more questions than answers,” Crump said. “Our investigators are still out there determining things.”
Crump said Phoenix police had conducted several witness interviews but didn’t have any suspects.
“We are working off extremely, extremely limited information,” Crump said.
Drenth is survived by his wife of 13 years and his mother. Drenth received the Medal of Valor in 2003 for rescuing trapped residents from a burning apartment building.
Drenth was patrolling in his assigned area for the South Mountain Precinct on Monday night. He had recently transferred from Squaw Peak Precinct. Harris also said Drenth was the last sergeant promoted before budgets constraints last year.
Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon canceled an event Tuesday morning and released this statement, “My heart and my prayers are with our fallen police sergeant, his family and our Police Department.
“Rest assured, the City of Phoenix will commit every resource necessary and do everything in our power to find the killer or killers, capture them and bring them to justice.”
The area around the scene was closed to traffic for several hours, but later reopened for traffic. The only current restriction is Jackson Street from 19th Avenue to 17th Avenue and Buchanan Street from 19th Avenue to 17th Avenue.