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Arizona tribe temporarily bans dances after fatal police shooting

The Gila River Indian Community temporarily banned dances after a tribal police officer was fatally shot and another injured while responding to a reported disturbance at a Santan home, tribal officials said Sunday.

Stephen Roe Lewis, governor of the tribe south of Phoenix, said a special meeting of community council leaders was held Saturday evening.

The council approved a temporary moratorium on all authorized and unauthorized dancing in the community, effective immediately, as well as enhanced penalties for trespassing and disorderly conduct, it said.

The Phoenix FBI and Gila River Police Department will conduct a joint investigation into the shooting, although many details have not yet been released.

The Arizona Republic reported that the shooting occurred at a teenager’s birthday party in Santan, located in one of the tribal community’s seven districts.

Joshua Briese, who had been with the Gila River Police Department for less than a year and had not completed his field training, went to the scene with another tribal police officer around 2 a.m. Saturday during a 911 call involving a large crowd.

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Gila River Police Officer Joshua Briese was fatally shot during a call for a disturbance in the Gila River Indian Community. He had been on the police force for less than a year and was undergoing field training.

Gila River Police Force


Police said several shots were fired and the two officers were hit and four other people were injured.

Briese was pronounced dead at the hospital and the other officer, whose name has not yet been released, was in serious but stable condition, according to police.

One of the four injured people later died, police said. The names of the victims were not immediately available Sunday.

“We extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues,” FBI Phoenix said in a statement Saturday.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to these officers, their families and everyone affected by this tragic incident,” Gila River Police said.

Briese, 23, was the son of a former Montana sheriff’s deputy who also died in the line of duty.

The Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post that David Briese was killed in a car crash in November 2006.

According to media reports, David Briese was responding to a call for help at the time for a police officer who was dealing with a combative impaired driver in Billings, Montana.

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