PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- A Phoenix police officer was killed in a crash Thursday morning near 75th Avenue and Indian School Road.

According to Phoenix police, officer Paul Rutherford, 51, stopped and got out of his police vehicle to assist two people who were involved in a car crash.

While investigating that collision, Officer Rutherford then responded on foot to a priority radio call across the street. As the officer was crossing Indian School Road, he was struck by an eastbound 2015 Ford Expedition. 

The driver of that Expedition stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators. She has been identified as a 40-year-old woman.

Police say that the woman was not impaired. She has not been charged in the incident.

PHOTOS: Phoenix police officer struck, killed in crash

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Sgt. Tommy Thompson said Rutherford was taken to a local hospital in extremely critical condition where he was pronounced dead.

On Thursday afternoon Phoenix police escorted Rutherford's body to the Maricopa County medical examiner. Video from the news helicopter showed an American flag flying over the street where the medical examiner is located. Officers and firefighters surrounded the street. Watch video of the transport here.

Fallen officer Paul Rutherford

Photo of fallen Phoenix police officer Paul Rutherford holding his grandson provided by his family.

Thompson said Rutherford served almost 23 years with the Phoenix Police Department. He leaves behind a wife and two adult children.

Chief Jerri Williams thanked the community for their support in a press conference in front of Banner - University Medical Center in Phoenix. Watch video of the entire press conference here.

This is the 39th line of duty death in the history of Phoenix police. 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



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(10) comments


According to Phoenix police, officer Paul Rutherford, 51, stopped and got out of his police vehicle to assist two people who were involved in a car crash. I would imagine that the officer would have had his emergency lights flashing, and that should mean that everyone should slow down if there was an accident being investigated. May officer Rutherford RIP..


My condolences to the family. Sorry for your loss.




THANK YOU for your service and for making the ULTIMATE SACRIFICE to protect us all including mopes like "imgladthishappened."


This is very sad. I'm sure he was well loved and close to retirement. He was just doing his job, protecting the public. Drivers please keep your eyes open, be aware of your surroundings, put down the crack pipe, the phone and stop texting. People are being killed.


Hopefully the driver that ran over the cop and killed him was using a cell phone when they ran him over. Hundreds of people in Arizona have been killed by people using a cell phone while driving but it only seems to get law makers' attention when it's an officer who gets killed by someone using a cell phone while driving.


Rest In Peace Officer Rutherford and thank you for 23 years of service.


Very sad! I drive through this intersection almost every day. I'm willing to bet the driver that hit him was not paying attention to the road and its surroundings. Like, good on them for staying and cooperating (they hit a cop, duh), but that will never excuse the fact that they slammed into his vehicle at was probably a high speed. Pay attention, people, I beg of you all!

Wayne kenoff

Exactly, sneakers. People around here drive way too freakin fast!


Dang, how sad. R.I.P. Officer and thank you for your service..

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