23-Year-Old Police Officer Killed in the Line of Duty at Gila River

police officer on police bike, motorcycle

A young Arizona police officer tragically lost his life in the line of duty at just 23 years old. Officer Joshua Briese was a Gila River police officer part of the Gila River Indian Reservation Community which is located in Sacaton, Arizona. 

Officer Briese, was shot on June 1st while responding to a disturbance call in Santan, which is the fourth district in the Gila River Indian Community. Further information regarding the incident has not yet been disclosed by Arizona law enforcement officials. Officer Briese had been employed by the department for less than a year before his untimely death, according to a Facebook post in memory of Briese, the rookie cop was still active in field training. 

Following Briese’s death, the officer’s step-grandmother Helen Briese stated to local news outlet The Arizona Republic that she had last spoken to her step-grandson on his birthday in October. Helen Briese described her step-grandson as, “a sweet kid”. Helen Briese further explained that her step-grandson had always wanted to be a police officer, following the footsteps of his father David Briese, who was also tragically killed in the line of duty. David Briese was a Yellowstone County Sherriff’s Officer who died in a car accident in November 2006 on Interstate 90 in Montana, while responding to backup a fellow officer during a traffic stop. 

Following his father’s untimely death, a young Briese moved to South Dakota with his mother, brother, and stepfather, where the family faced difficult times. In an interview with KULR News, Joshua Briese stated that due to a tough home life, he became emancipated and moved back to his home state of Montana. While back in Billings, Montana, Briese worked early hours at the local airport before attending high school, where he still found the time for activities such as cross-country. 

Before becoming an Arizona police officer, Joshua Briese worked at the Arizona Department of Corrections until June 2022.