The first Hopi police officer killed in the line of duty probably made his fatal mistake in stopping to question a hitchhiker along a lonely stretch of A-264, officials say.

Dean James, 32, of Hotevilla, was en route from his home to Moenkopi, where he was stationed, when he was gunned down Saturday night, federal officials said Sunday.James' body was found along the highway about 24 miles west of Second Mesa, police said.

He apparently managed to wound his assailant, authorities said.

Bureau of Indian Affairs spokesman Larry Rummel of Phoenix said another Hopi is being questioned in connection with the killing.

An FBI spokesman in Phoenix said the incident is under investigation and that no charges have been filed.