Neighbor mourns loss of Detective John Hobbs

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- The Phoenix police detective who was killed in a shootout on Tuesday is a 21-year veteran of the force.

It's been an emotional past two days for police, family, and friends of Detective John Hobbs.

Neighbors said they are still shocked.

"What a great guy,” said Nick Arcan. “I just can't believe we lost him."

Neighbor Nick Arcan said he's known Detective John Hobbs for three years.

"It's a huge loss," said Arcan.

Arcan said the first thing he did when he found out about his neighbor and friend: "I just got on my knees right away and prayed for his kids."

Hobbs leaves behind a wife and three children.

"His daughter plays with my daughter every day out here," said Arcan.

Hobbs' children are 10, 8 and 6.

"Leaving three kids behind has got to be tough especially at their age," said Arcan.

Police are mourning this tragedy.

"He was a very well rounded and respected professional police officer," said Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia.

Early in his career, Hobbs was involved in one of the biggest drug busts in Arizona history.

A half a billion dollars' worth of cocaine from Colombia was recovered from a home in South Phoenix.

Then Officer Hobbs and two of his fellow officers were in the right place at the right time as two suspects were loading boxes of drugs out of a home and into a rented truck.

"He is absolutely loved by everyone in this department," said Sgt. Steve Martos. “He will be missed. He is an absolutely stand up guy."

A stand up guy who neighbors said will not be forgotten.