'American Indian icon' shot and killed during early-morning home invasion

A man known as an "American Indian icon" was shot and killed during an early-morning home invasion on Friday.

Police say they found Jess Sixkiller dead at the scene after his wife called 911 from a bedroom to report hearing a break-in and a confrontation elsewhere in the home. Officials say the incident occurred shortly after 3 a.m. in a neighborhood near 55th Avenue and Camelback Road.

The woman barricaded herself in a bedroom, but her husband, Sixkiller, was in another room.

"The lady indicates that she hears what she thinks is gunshots... officers get inside... she is a bit invalid... so they get her out of the home and do a sweep of the home for the suspect and for the husband," explained Officer James Holmes of the Phoenix Police Department.

Officers found Sixkiller's body, but the shooter got away.

Sixkiller was a member of the Cherokee Nation and fought hard for American Indian civil rights. He was also reportedly one of the first American Indians to work for the Chicago Police Department.

Homicide detectives say they have little to go on and are appealing to the public for any information related to the case. If you have any information on the suspect(s), call 911 or Silent Witness at (480) WITNESS.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.