On November 23, 2023, at approximately 3:29 am, White Mountain Apache Police Dispatch Center received a call from a citizen reporting a person had been hit by a vehicle on State Route 73 at MP 357 about 2 miles south of the Hon-Dah Casino. White Mountain Apache Fire and Rescue, White Mountain EMS, and the White Mountain Apache Police Department responded to the scene.
Map of the area where hit-and-run happened.
The hit-and-run victim was identified as 30-year-old Iris Billy of Whiteriver, Arizona.
Iris Billy, hit-and-run victim.
The White Mountain Apache Police determined the vehicle that struck Iris Billy fled the scene and immediately initiated a fatal hit-and-run collision investigation.
Officer Anderson was among three other White Mountain Apache Police Officers who delivered the notification of Iris Billy’s death to her family and was first on the scene of the hit-and-run.
It’s also unclear how long Iris Billy lay on the road after being hit.
During the investigation, it was determined that Officer Anderson’s police vehicle had damage consistent with a collision with a pedestrian.
On November 24, 2023, Officer Anderson’s patrol vehicle was thoroughly inspected, and evidence of a collision with a pedestrian was identified. Also, the hit-and-run scene was investigated, and debris was noticed by the investigating officers. As the investigation continued, they noticed that the damage and scene evidence were consistent with the incident that occurred on November 23.
Chief Deputy of the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office, Brian Swanty said, “Anderson’s patrol vehicle had damage to the front and undercarriage.”
Officer Anderson was subsequently placed under arrest and booked into the White Mountain Apache Adult Detention Facility for the following charges: Assault, Aggravated assault, Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, Aggravated assault causing serious physical injury, Criminal negligence, Reckless driving, Interference with an officer, Death caused by vehicle, and Leaving the scene of a fatality collision.
White Mountain Apache Police Officer Josh Anderson
Officer Anderson submitted his resignation as a White Mountain Apache police officer, where he has served as a Police Officer for over twenty years, immediately after his arrest. White Mountain Apache Police Chief Steven Kane accepted Anderson’s resignation.
The White Mountain Apache Police Department has turned the investigation over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which will continue the criminal investigation. The findings of the FBI investigation will be submitted to the United States Attorney’s Office for review and consideration of major crime charging.
Iris Billy leaves behind two young sons, ages 10 and 9, and a grieving family that wants justice to be served.
“We will not rest until Anderson is brought to justice for killing our sister Iris,” said Phylene Burnette, Iris’s older sister.
“This is an extremely sad time for the family of the victim, the men and women at the White Mountain Apache Police Department, and the White Mountain Apache Tribe. This event is an isolated incident and is not a reflection of the fine police officers that serve and protect the citizens of the White Mountain Apache Reservation every day,” Swanty wrote in the press release.
“The White Mountain Apache Police Department acted in a swift, transparent, and aggressive manner to find the facts and document the incident. Their professionalism and vigilance throughout the investigation resulted in the ability to gather evidence and facts surrounding the death of Iris Billy,” said Swanty.
Any questions or inquiries for the White Mountain Apache Police Department should be routed to Chief Deputy Brian Swanty, Navajo County Sheriff’s Office, who will be the point of contact on behalf of the White Mountain Apache Tribe.
The family has set up a Go-Fund-Me to help with funeral expenses. Click Here: JUSTICE FOR IRIS
Molly K Ottman Executive Editor/Journalist for Mountain Daily Star