I’m going to caution that major details in this story appear to have changed at least twice, but we’re fairly certain that these are the facts now that the dust has settled.
An Arizona trooper trying to help a motorist in a rollover crash was shot in an ambush-style attack by a random suspect, who was then fatally shot by a Good Samaritan driving by.
The trooper with the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) was at a traffic stop when he received a report about a driver whose car was shot at near a median at milepost 81 on Interstate 10, reported ABC15, an ABC affiliate in Arizona.
The trooper left the traffic stop to investigate this call when he came across a rollover crash and saw that a woman had been ejected from the wreckage.
When the trooper began working to block lanes, a suspect came from an unknown direction and “ambushed” him, according to DPS.
The suspect shot him at least once in the chest-shoulder area and fought the trooper to the ground.
A passerby saw the fight unfolding and stopped to render aid to the trooper, who asked for help.
However, the suspect ignored the Good Samaritan’s orders to stop attacking the trooper.
That’s when the passerby went to his car, grabbed a gun and fatally shot the suspect, reported ABC15.
There were prior versions of the story reported in other news outlets that first suggested the man who shot the trooper might have been an occupant of the overturned vehicle, while another said it was the trooper who shot the suspect.
Evidence now suggests that the trooper was responding to the incident when an unknown party shot him, then attempted to continue his attack. A Good Samaritan stopped, got his gun from his vehicle when the man wouldn’t stop attacking the trooper, and shot the suspect dead.
The trooper is now in stable condition.
The woman ejected in the roll-over crash died of her injuries.
Evidence coming in now is suggesting that the man who attacked the trooper had been shooting at other vehicles prior to the woman crashing, suggesting the deceased suspect may have taken her life before he attacked the DPS trooper.
According to DPS Col. Frank Milstead, a citizen called to report that their vehicle was shot at from the median near milepost 81 on Interstate 10.
A trooper in the area left another traffic stop nearby to investigate the call when he came upon a rollover crash near milepost 89. He saw a woman who had been ejected from the crash and began working to block lanes.
It is not known how many vehicles the suspect shot at before the wreck and shooting the officer. It’s quite possible that if the suspect had managed to kill the trooper, he would have resumed his prior position and ambushed other first responders coming to the scene, as the trooper was not able to send out a warning.
The gun owner saved at least one trooper’s life this morning, and maybe more.
A tip of the hat goes to Misfires & Light Strikes for alerting me to this shooting and, who also notes:
…in the interests of fairness and equal time, I will now make a detailed, comprehensive list of all the times that a civilian member of the Coalition To Stop Gun Violence, the Brady Campaign and/or a supporter of Black Lives Matter has stopped an in-progress assault on a police officer.
There. Don’t ever say I’m not fair and balanced when it comes to the effectiveness of an armed vs. disarmed citizenry.
This is the second high-profile “save” of an officer under attack by an armed citizen in two months. A concealed carrier shot and killed a suspect to save a Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputy in Florida in November.