'He was like a brother,' says fallen officer's close friend - KCTV5

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'He was like a brother,' says fallen officer's close friend

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Officer Daryl Raetz died from injuries suffered in a hit-and-run crash. (Source: Phoenix Police Department) Officer Daryl Raetz died from injuries suffered in a hit-and-run crash. (Source: Phoenix Police Department)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Detective Jeff Clement bravely took a seat in front of a row of cameras Monday afternoon to talk about losing his best friend, Officer Daryl Raetz.

"We thought he was Teflon," said Clement. "We thought nothing could stick to him. I couldn't even imagine this day ever coming." 

Raetz was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while he was investigating a DUI near 51st Avenue and Cambridge early Sunday morning.

Clements said he had known Raetz since the fifth grade. The two eventually ended up working together at the Phoenix Police Department.

Before Raetz gave his life protecting the community he served for six years, he was in the Navy. The 29-year-old served our country for five years and pulled two tours in Iraq.

"The guy was a magnet," said Clement. "He knew how to find bad guys. He knew how to put them in jail. He did a good job doing that. He did a good job serving his community and he did an outstanding job bringing justice to people that needed it." 

Raetz's love for his career in public service was surpassed only by the love he had for his family.  He and his wife built a life together in Anthem with their 5-year-old daughter. 

"He was the type of guy that would work third shift all night and get off at 6 o'clock on a Sunday morning then go coach his daughter's soccer practice until 8 or 9 and then hang out with her throughout the day, get a couple hours sleep and then go back to work," said  Clement. 

Clement said Raetz was more like a brother than a friend. He said he is still in shock but his mission is to make sure that his best friend's wife and little girl are taken care of.

An account has been opened to help the officer's family. It's at any Midfirst Bank. It's called  Hands Across Arizona for the benefit of Daryl Raetz.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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