City honors fallen Phoenix police officer with historical marker

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- The City of Phoenix and the Phoenix Police Department on Tuesday dedicated a historical marker in honor of an officer who was killed in the line of duty a year ago.

Officer Daryl M. Raetz was on the scene of a DUI investigation on May 19, 2013, when another driver hit him and then fled the scene. Raetz, an Iraq veteran, was 29 years old and had been with the force for six years.

"This is a tragic day for the city of Phoenix," said Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson said that day.

"He was one of Phoenix's finest -- one of our heroes," Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia said.

Police later arrested Jesus Cabrera Molina and booked him on suspicion of manslaughter and leaving the scene of a fatal collision. Molina pleaded not guilty to the felony charges on June 19.

A second line-of-duty death occurred the day Raetz died. Phoenix firefighter Brad Harper was killed when he became trapped between two emergency vehicles while on the scene of a mulch fire. A marker in his honor was unveiled Monday.

The marker honoring Raetz is located in the area of 2602 N. 51st Avenue, not far from where he was killed.

The Phoenix Police Department has seen 37 line-of-duty deaths plus five K9 line-of-duty deaths since 1925. There is a historical marker for each man who died on the job.

"There is no rhyme or reason to the locations, not unlike the chance that each spot would someday be marked by tragedy," reads the city of Phoenix Web page about the markers. "Only the widows, the parents and children and friends of the victims would understand how a piece of blue metal bearing the name of their loved one could possibly become something so precious."



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