A state trooper who was ambushed and shot in Arizona is expected to make a full recovery, while the suspect in question was shot and killed by a civilian who happened to be there at the right moment.
On Jan. 12, an officer responded to a 911 call about shots fired along Interstate-10 near Tonopah, Arizona, shortly before 4:30 a.m. The caller said someone had shot his car from the median.
KPHO reports a woman had been ejected from her vehicle during a rollover wreck and the trooper stopped to lay out flares.
That’s when the trooper, a 27-year-old veteran of the force, was ambushed and shot by the suspect when he stepped out of his patrol car.
“A physical fight between our trooper and that suspect then ensued, at which time the suspect was shot and killed,” Department of Public Safety (DPS) Capt. Damon Cecil said. “Right now that’s all we have. This is a fluid investigation.”
Col. Frank Milstead, director of the DPS, reported an “uninvolved third party” driving by noticed the trooper wrestling with the suspect and stopped to assist. The armed bystander eventually shot and killed the suspect.
They later used the injured officer’s radio to alert the DPS about the shooting.
“To the civilian on the DPS trooper’s radio, if you can hear me, I need you to let me know where the suspect is that got in an altercation with our trooper,” the dispatcher could be heard saying on the scanner.
“The suspect is uh, occasionally breathing or stirring. He’s been shot by a passer-by,” the third party responded with the wounded trooper’s radio.
“He’s laying right next to the officer.”
Authorities have reasons to believe the suspect who shot the officer may have been involved in the initial car accident, according to KAKE.
However, it’s unclear whether the suspect and the woman from the rollover are linked, as neither one has been identified.
“At this time, we don’t know exactly how the events played out other than our trooper got on scene at that rollover collision after responding to a shots fired call and then he was subsequently ambushed and shot,” Cecil said. “Investigators are interviewing witnesses, interviewing our trooper. They’re the ones who are going to be able to solidify the timeline for us.”
Sources: KPHO, KAKE / Photo credit: Mad World News