Funeral held for slain Flagstaff police officer

Posted: Updated:
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
Officer Tyler Stewart's sisters By Jennifer Thomas Officer Tyler Stewart's sisters By Jennifer Thomas

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Hundreds gathered Friday to say goodbye to a Flagstaff police officer who was shot and killed by a domestic violence suspect.

Friends and family of Tyler Jacob Stewart recalled his sense of humor, infectious smile and fun-loving nature. Others lined the procession route to Christ's Church in Flagstaff.

"It's just important to come out and let them know that we love them and support them, and just thank you. Thank you so much," said Pamela Grantham, who braved the single-digit temperatures to watch the procession.

Stewart, 24, died after he was shot several times by 28-year-old Robert Smith, of Prescott, on Dec. 27. Smith then walked away and fatally shot himself.

Flagstaff Mayor Jerry Nabours, police Chief Kevin Treadway, and Stewart's sisters and father, who is a sergeant with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, were among those who spoke during the funeral service.

Stewart had been with the department less than one year. He graduated from Boulder Creek High School in Anthem and Concordia College in California.

"He did what he loved to do to protect the public, and he died trying to make a difference," said honor guard member Tim Kovacs.

He is the second Flagstaff Police Department officer ever to be killed in the line of duty. His death has rattled the mountain community.

"It's hard to understand the dynamics of a small town unless you've lived in a small town or you grew up in a small town," said Chris Reed, the pastor at Christ's Church. "Being a smaller town, everybody knows everybody, and you just do what you'd want done if you were in that situation."

A bank account has been established on behalf of Stewart's family. Donations to the Tyler Stewart Memorial Account, No. 7764473984, can be made at Wells Fargo Bank.