Hero passer-by shoots dead suspect who ambushed Arizona cop
Gunman shot and attacked officer when he stopped to assist a car and was smashing his head into the ground
The passerby figured injured officer needed aid to escape assault and shot the assailant
The officer is listed as stable in hospital awaiting surgery
A trooper was trying to help the critically injured driver of a car involved in an accident when he was shot in an ambush by a man who was then shot dead by a member of the public who was also driving by.
The trooper, a 27-year veteran of the Arizona Department for Public Safety, near Tonopah, and was helping a woman in a rollover crash who had been ejected from the wreckage.
Arizona law enforcement and rescue teams at the crash site
Crash site and rescue operations combine at the crime scene
When he started to block lanes and put out flares, a suspect ambushed him, opening fire, then physically attacking him
Another road user had reported gunfire and a trooper was responding to that call when he spotted the car crash and stopped, Milstead and DPS Captain Damon Cecil said.
When he started to block lanes and put out flares, a suspect opened fire, before launching a physical attack on the officer
The ambushed officer was trying to help the injured driver of a car which had rolled over
The trooper was hit at least once near his chest before being wrestled to the ground by the suspect. The man was on top of the officer and slamming the trooper’s head into the pavement.
The passerby spotted the altercation and asked the officer if he needed help. The officer said yes, and when the suspect ignored the passerby and continued attacking the trooper, the Good Samaritan shot him dead
DPS Director Frank Milsted sent a message out to the Good Samaritan: ‘Thank you because I don’t know if my trooper would be alive today without your assistance’
DPS said that the trooper has been with the department for 27 years, and awaits surgery in hospital.
Milstead said he feared the worst when he headed to the hospital to check on the wounded trooper, who is stable.
He said: ‘He’s incredibly fortunate to be here with us today.
The woman involved in the rollover crash died from her injuries, and it is unknown what caused the accident.
Officials said they were trying to determine exactly what happened and that the investigation faced major hurdles with the trooper seriously injured and two of the others involved dead
The trooper was taken by air ambulance to the hospital￼
Officials said they were trying to determine exactly what happened and that the investigation faced major hurdles with the trooper seriously injured and two of the others involved dead. No identities have been released.
Investigators were trying to determine how the rollover happened and whether the suspect was involved with the initial report of gunshots, officials said. Investigators plan to speak with the person who made that call.
Westbound Interstate 10 was closed most of the morning, and traffic heading for California and western Arizona was detoured to other highways.