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Protesters Gather Outside Mayor's Home

Police Chief Jack Harris, Mayor Phil Gordon at a news briefing announcing officer's death.

Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris

Sgt. Andy Hill

Accident Scene

Police Force Mourns Death

PHOENIX -- A 25-year-old on-duty Phoenix police officer who died in a weekend car crash leaves behind a big church family where he was well-known and respected.

Members of Shane Figueroa's Church of Latter-Day Saints in Mesa said the 25-year-old officer always had a smile on his face and served as a good role model to everyone who knew him.

A suspected drunken driver in the country illegally who plowed into Fugueroa's squad car and killed him early Saturday morning had four outstanding warrants, investigators said.

Figueroa was heading northbound on S. 19th Avenue and responding to a call about a series of shots fired when a vehicle driven by Salvador Vivas Diaz, 50, collided with the patrol car. Diaz was arrested and booked on one count of manslaughter and one count of aggravated assault. Sgt. Andy Hill said there are four warrants for the man's arrest under a different name, two of which are for DUI.
"As he approached S. Roeser Road, a small white pickup truck with two occupants was driving southbound on S. Roeser Road and, according to witnesses and investigators, turned left in front of Officer Figueroa's vehicle," Hill said.

Hill said Diaz slammed his pickup truck into the officer's car west of downtown Phoenix.

"Officer Figueroa suffered fatal injuries during this crash and was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Hospital," Hill said.

Diaz suffered minor injuries. His passenger was seriously hurt.

Figueroa's church family said Sunday they were devastated.

"Shane is a wonderful young man, a wonderful husband and father, neighbor and friend," said church President Mark Bradshaw. "Good friend to many. Any mother would be proud to have Shane as their son. "You can imagine what his mother and all the family are feeling --his good wife and sweet little baby."

"This is another tremendous loss, not only to Officer Figueroa's family, but to the Phoenix Police Department and the community," said Sgt. Andy Hill.

Figueroa leaves behind a wife and a 3-month-old baby girl.

"This has been a terrible tragedy for our department," said Jack Harris, Phoenix police chief. "As you know, we have lost four officers in the past month due to either personal illness or to, in this case, a very tragic accident."

Officers said the collision is still under investigation. "There are a number of factors critical to this investigation that will be determined by lab tests and mathematical calculations," he said.

"Officer Figueroa's dad is a retired officer from the Phoenix Police Department and is currently employed as an officer in the town of Maricopa," Harris said. "His father-in-law is currently a lieutenant with the Mesa Police Department."

Protesters Gather Outside Mayor's House

Outside Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon's house, a small group of protesters gathered Sunday holding signs.

They marched along the sidewalk accusing the mayor of protecting illegal immigrants.

The mayor's spokesperson told CBS 5 News the federal government and the illegal immigrant are to blame for the officer's death, not the mayor.

"While the mayor and the chief of police and the head of the police union are at the hospital with the family, these guys are out there trying to figure out they can make political hay with a dead police officer," said Scott Phelps, the mayor's spokesman. "How can they turn to that to their political advantage?"

The protesters said they were not with any particular group.
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