Deputy Sheriff Robert William Varner, Jr.

Deputy Sheriff Robert William Varner, Jr.

Navajo County Sheriff's Office, Arizona

End of Watch Monday, January 2, 1989

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Robert William Varner, Jr.

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 submachine 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.


  • Age 51
  • Tour 26 years
  • Badge 48
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, December 31, 1988
  • Weapon Handgun; Mac-11
  • Offender Committed suicide

stolen vehicle

Most Recent Reflection

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Your name is forever inside a little red book with the name, Pocket Partner. Your friend, Dennis Evers, dedicated this book to you as well as Dave Zesiger and Bruce Peterson. Before I go on duty I reflect on my duties and the sacrifices you and other men who have gone before have given. You will not be forgotten.

Security Officer Thomas Ball
Onsite Security

January 27, 2023

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