Funeral held for White Mountain Apache Police Officer killed during traffic stop

Community leaders and the White Mountain Apache Tribe Chief of Police spoke at Officer Lopez's...
Community leaders and the White Mountain Apache Tribe Chief of Police spoke at Officer Lopez's funeral.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 1:03 PM MST
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TAYLOR, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - A funeral procession was held Thursday morning for the officer who was shot and killed during a traffic stop on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Eastern Arizona a week ago. The funeral for White Mountain Apache Police Officer Adrian Lopez was held at 10 a.m. at the Chief Alchesay Activity Center. Lopez leaves behind a wife and two children.

“It is going to be hard. Life will never be the same for you, but you will arise and walk again,” said Kasey Velasquez, tribal chairman of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. “Your lives will make Officer Lopez proud...We will always honor and remember Officer Lopez as one of the finest, most beloved members of our community. A true hero.”

“You know Lopez said if this day were ever to come for him that he didn’t want no boring, long speeches to be spoken over his body,” said Chief of Police of the White Mountain Apache Tribe Theodore Shaw through tears. “He wanted to go out with a bang. Greater love has no man than this, than a man lay down his life for another.”

Officer Adrian Lopez Sr. was killed during a traffic stop on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.
Officer Adrian Lopez Sr. was killed during a traffic stop on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.(Arizona's Family)

Officer Lopez stopped driver Kevin Dwight Nashio on June 3 near downtown Whiteriver. Authorities said the two began arguing and Lopez was shot. Lopez later died from his injuries. Nashio stole Lopez’s truck and led police on a nearly 40-mile chase through the Fort Apache Reservation. Eventually, he crashed the truck into a tree near Hawley Lake. Nashio then died in a shootout with officers. Sgt. Lonnie Thompson, 29, was hurt during the shootout but is expected to be okay. Lopez had only been with the department since January, according to the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office.