Ariz. Detective’s Final Moments Detailed After Gun Fell and Accidentally Discharged: ‘Unimaginable’

The dad of three was remembered as a dedicated parent and public servant who "always said, ‘What can I do to help?’ "

<p>Scottsdale Police Department/Facebook</p> Detective Ryan So

Scottsdale Police Department/Facebook

Detective Ryan So

Police say an Arizona detective was killed in an accident last week when a gun that he had been moving accidentally discharged.

The Scottsdale Police Department wrote in a statement on social media that Detective Ryan So “succumbed to duty-related injuries” sustained on Friday, June 14, though they did not provide additional details.

“This is an unimaginable tragedy for both Ryan’s family and his police family at SPD,” the department wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Detective So’s family, his team, and everyone across our police department.”

The Scottsdale Police Department shared in a news release with The Arizona Republic and Newsweek that So, along with other detectives from the Special Assignment Unit, had been unloading equipment after executing a search warrant and arrest operation when the incident happened.

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As So moved a bag from a vehicle, a rifle fell out of it, according to police. As it hit the pavement, the rifle discharged, striking him.

Other detectives on the scene provided aid before he was eventually transported to the hospital, where he died from his injuries.

"The loss of Detective So is deeply felt throughout the entire community. We will forever honor his sacrifice and remember his legacy as a hero who dedicated his life to serving and protecting others," Scottsdale police said in a statement to the news outlets. (The department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.)

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According to the department, So had been an officer with the Scottsdale police for nine years and also served in the U.S. Navy.

Community members told local TV station KSAZ that So leaves behind a wife, Ashley. and three daughters: Emerson, Stella and Tatum.

Sandi Turek, who taught one of So’s daughters at North Valley Christian Academy, remembered him as a dedicated father who always made time for his children. 

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"He made it a point to come to stuff in the middle of the day, like, ‘What time is it? I have to be there,'" Turek told KSAZ. "He made sure he was there."

She also shared that he loved to serve his community and was an example to his daughters, who he would often drop off at school in the mornings.

"He always said, ‘What can I do to help?’ He was a mirror. They reflected on that, and they saw that as an example, and they wanted to be like their dad," Turek said.

So’s funeral is scheduled to take place in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Thursday, June 20.

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