Injured Navajo police officer to be released from hospital next week

Steve Garrison The Daily Times
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Officer James Hale, one of two Navajo police officers injured in a March 19 shootout in Red Valley, Ariz., is expected to be released next week from the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, according to a Navajo Nation official.

Deswood Tome, President Ben Shelly's chief of staff, said Friday that Hale's family has requested that the injured officer's medical condition not be released. Tome said the second officer injured in the shooting, Herbert Frazier, has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.

Hale and Frazier were wounded the night of March 19 in a shootout with Justin Fowler, 26. on Navajo Route 13 in Red Valley, Ariz. Fowler and a third officer, Alex Yazzie, were killed in the shooting.

Frazier, 41, has been with the Navajo police department for 13 years, and Hale, 48, has served 16 years with the department. Yazzie, 42, joined the Shiprock police department in 2012 after a career as a resource enforcement officer with the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency.

FBI agent Perryn Collier of the bureau's Phoenix division said Friday an investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

Asked whether the bureau will release its findings, Collier said the wishes of grieving family members will be taken into consideration.

"Publishing the details of an officer's death typically does not result in the honoring of the fallen officer, but glorifying of the misdeeds of the shooter and the encouragement of others to follow the shooter's actions," he wrote in an email.

Steve Garrison covers crime and courts for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and Follow him on Twitter @SteveGarrisonDT on Twitter.