Slain Salt River officer laid to rest


by Ryan O'Donnell

Bio | Email | Follow: @3TVODonnell

Posted on May 30, 2014 at 6:24 AM

Updated Monday, Jun 2 at 3:33 PM

PHOENIX -- Police from all over the Arizona showed up Friday to honor and say goodbye to Salt River Police Officer Jair Cabrera.

Ryan Barnhart grew up with him, playing baseball both with and against him.

"It was an honor to have known him," Barnhart said. "He was a best friend of mine for so many years and thank you for allowing me to speak today."

Detective Vicente Cendejas, a colleague of Cabrera's for the past six years, described the fallen officer as "definitely somebody you look up to as a mentor and as a brother."

Cabrera was shot and killed while pulling a car over near the intersection of Chaparral and Pima roads on Saturday, May 24. Shots rang out after the vehicle pulled into a gas station. Cabrera was hit before he could even get out of his squad car.

Three people fled the scene, but were all caught.

"I go by that site every day. I'm always going to remember Jair and the service he gave to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa community," Salt River Police Chief Patrick Melvin said.

Cabrera was 37 years old and served seven years with the Salt River Police Department. He was a member of the SRPD Honor Guard. He loved the Dallas Cowboys, snowboarding and being around his family and his friends.

Cabrera was buried at the Memorial Park and Mortuary and is survived by his parents, brother and girlfriend.

He is the first Salt River police officer killed in the line of duty.

Those who would like to make a donation to Cabrera’s family can do so at any Wells Fargo branch under "The Officer Jair Cabrera memorial fund."

Cards can be sent to 10005 E. Osborn Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85256, Attn: Salt River Police Department.