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Deputy Sheriff Robert William Varner, Jr. | Navajo County Sheriff's Office, Arizona Navajo County Sheriff's Office, Arizona

Deputy Sheriff

Robert William Varner, Jr.

Navajo County Sheriff's Office, Arizona

End of Watch: Monday, January 2, 1989

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 51

Tour: 26 years

Badge # 48

Military veteran

Cause: Gunfire

Incident Date: 12/31/1988

Weapon: Handgun; Mac-11

Offender: Committed suicide

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Deputy Robert Varner was shot and killed after stopping a stolen vehicle with stolen tags on I-40.

When the vehicle stopped, the passenger exited the car and opened fire with a sub-machine gun, striking Deputy Varner several times.

The suspects split up and the shooter committed suicide before officers could apprehend him. The driver of the vehicle was apprehended and sentenced to thirteen years.

Deputy Varner had been a member of the Navajo County Sheriff's Department for one year, after retiring from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, with 24 years of service. He is survived by his wife, son, and two daughters.

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My heart is breaking today. Your family lost another member today. Joanie has joined you in heaven. i know the two of you will have a lot to talk about. Prayers and love to your family today.

A/C Survivor Stan Jerlecki
A/C Brother of Joan
September 6, 2017


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