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 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.


  • 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

Most Recent Reflection

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Its been a long time since that night, I still think of you and our times together and there were many. all make me smile save one. I miss our talks and our meetings at the Pacific it was the best of times.
Rest easy my friend until we meet again.

Cmdr David Burke
Navajo County S.O.

April 19, 2019

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