Why are flags at half-staff today, Oct. 31, 2019
Governor Ducey has ordered that flags at all state buildings be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Thursday, October 31, 2019 to honor the life of Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Detention Officer Gene Lee who died on Wednesday in the line of duty. Flags will also be lowered on day of interment, which has not yet been set.
The inmate accused of attacking Lee has been transferred to a jail in another county outside Phoenix, authorities said.
Sheriff Paul Penzone said in a videotaped statement that Daniel Davitt, 59, attacked Lee without provocation Tuesday morning by grabbing Lee by his throat from behind and knocking his feet out from under him.
Penzone said Lee's head hit the cement floor and he never regained consciousness.
Davitt awaits trial on charges of sex crimes involving children and is representing himself in court.
Penzone called Lee's death "tragic and egregious" and called Davitt "a criminal predator with no respect for authority, human life or the community."
“Arizona deeply mourns the loss of Detention Officer Gene Lee, whose life was taken far too soon,” said Governor Ducey. “As a six-year veteran of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Lee put his life on the line to ensure the safety of his fellow citizens and officers. Our hearts go out to the entire Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and our prayers are with Officer Lee’s family and loved ones. In honor of Officer Lee’s life and service, I’ve ordered flags at all state buildings today be lowered to half-staff.”
Individuals, businesses, and other organizations are encouraged to join in this tribute.