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Phoenix Cop's 2010 Death Remains a Mystery

October 20, 2011  | 

A death of a Phoenix Police officer who was found fatally shot near the State Capitol in October has been classified as "death unknown," and investigators say evidence suggests it could have been a homicide or suicide.

Sgt. Sean Drenth, a well-liked 12-year veteran, was found in a lot sprawled on his back with a fatal blast from his own shotgun.

Sgt. Drenth's shotgun rested atop his chest, a sign that pointed toward suicide. But debris on his uniform and scrapes on his hand indicated there might have been a struggle.

Adding to the confusion, investigators found Sergeant Drenth's service pistol on the other side of a chain-link fence and his handcuffs and flashlight strewn on the ground. A gun that he had kept in an ankle holster was beside him, and there was evidence that it had been fired toward nearby railroad tracks.

Source: New York Times

Related: Decorated Phoenix Police Sergeant Killed Near Capitol


Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Tom Ret @ 10/20/2011 6:15 PM

If this was a suicide, it was a strange one indeed.

M.Conner @ 10/21/2011 10:03 AM

Just a thought, no proof: But what if the officer staged the scene to look as though a struggle occurred, shots fired and did commit suicide. A lot of insurance policies will not pay off claims if a suicide has been committed but if killed in the line of duty his family would have access to a lot state benefits. I probably watch to much tv.
My condolences go out to the officers family and friends.

Morning Eagle @ 10/21/2011 12:10 PM

"....evidence suggests it could have been a homicide or suicide." Brilliant! His history with the department doesn't lead one to believe Sgt Drenth would have staged such an elaborate, misleading scene to cover suicide. Looks more as if he was ambushed and incapacitated somehow, perhaps by someone he knew or would automatically trust(?) then was murdered and a clumsy attempt to make it look like suicide was made by laying his shotgun across his chest. Hopefully his department will not let the investigation fall through the cracks. His wife, family and fellow officers need to know what happened and whoever did it must pay, preferably with their own life.

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