history of non-violent crimes including September 2016 warrant; 5-year prison term for marijuana transport case in 2009
Hostage safe after early morning shootout
SHOW LOW – A 15 year old girl is safe this morning but a Show Low police officer and a Huachuca City man are dead following 12 hours of violence in the usually peaceful Navajo County resort area.
Early Tuesday afternoon officer Darrin Reed, age 50, was responding to a disturbance call when he was shot outside a Show Low restaurant. The veteran officer succumbed to his injuries at a local hospital. Show Low authorities report Reed was scheduled to retire at year end.
The suspect was immediately identified as Daniel J.G. Erickson, age 36, of Huachuca City.
Erickson, who was wearing along coat, allegedly pulled a gun and shot Reed at close range. He then fled the scene and was spotted leaving a local hotel in a pickup truck a short time later. It is unclear why Erickson was in the Show Low area, as he recent addresses were Huachuca City and Gilbert.
Erickson has a long history of drug and minor traffic crimes dating back to 2004 mostly in Cochise and Santa Cruz counties. However, public court records reflect no history of violence or use of firearms. He served two prison terms, the first 2007-2008 for a conviction out of Pinal Superior Court during which he had seven sustained disciplinary violations and again in 2009-2013 from Cochise Superior Court during which he had six disciplinary infractions.
The Cochise County conviction was for transport of marijuana for sale. Erickson was stopped by an Arizona Dept. of Public Safety officer on I-10 near Benson for a license plate infraction. Found in the truck was 375 – 400 pounds of packaged marijuana. Erickson pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 5 years in prison.
Erickson was released in June 2013 and completed his parole May 2014. His most recent legal problems were traffic violations in July 2016 out of the East Santa Cruz Justice Court. A warrant was ordered by justice of the peace Keith Barth in September after Erickson failed to appear in court on the charges, which included driving without a license, no insurance, no vehicle registration and suspended license plates.
According to court records, Erickson appeared before Barth on October 11 at which time he pleaded guilty to all the charges and agreed to a payment plan to pay more than $2,000 in fines and fees imposed by the judge. As a result of that agreement the warrant was quashed (cancelled). On October 31 Erickson made a $50 payment to the court.
As the search for Erickson unfolded Tuesday, a spokesman for the AZ DPS reported that sometime in the afternoon Erickson dumped the pickup he was seen in and began driving a jeep. He was tracked to a cabin in the Pinetop-Lakeside by early evening, where he barricaded himself along with a teenage hostage. Local officers surrounded the scene until the DPS S.W.A.T. team arrived.
Witnesses reported hearing sporadic gunfire throughout the evening, which is believed to have been Erickson firing on officers. There was limited verbal contact with Erickson but he refused to release his hostage or surrender. A decision was made around 1:00am Wednesday to end the standoff by returning fire. The hostage appeared uninjured but was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
Additional information about the incident is expected to be released by Show Low and Navajo County officials this afternoon.
Contact reporter Terri Jo Neff at 520-508-3660 and firstname.lastname@example.org