Tonopah, Arizona – An Arizona DPS trooper is alive today only because a citizen stopped and gunned down the man trying to kill the trooper.
According to Arizona DPS Director Colonel Frank Milstead, early Thursday morning at Westbound I-10 near Tonopah, a DPS trooper responded to a call of a rollover collision. When the trooper arrived on scene he was placing flares when he was suddenly ambushed by a male suspect who opened fire on him. The trooper was shot in his right shoulder and unable to use his arm to draw his weapon. The hero fought back against his assailant, and they ended up in a physical fight for the trooper's life. The trooper did not have use of his right arm, so he was overpowered on the ground with the suspect on top of him.
As the suspect was beating the trooper's head into the pavement, a citizen hero who was driving with his family to California saw what was happening. The hero stopped, took out his gun, and ordered the suspect to stop killing the trooper. When the suspect did not stop, the hero shot the suspect dead.
A citizen then got on the trooper's radio and called out for help.
DISPATCHER: “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.”
CIVILIAN: “The suspect is uh, occasionally breathing or stirring. He’s been shot by a passer-by. He’s laying right next to the officer.”
It was later determined that the suspect was the driver of the rolled over vehicle. A female passenger from the vehicle was transported to the hospital where she died.
The trooper is alive with serious, but non life-threatening injuries and is alive today only because an armed hero stopped to help.
It's still unknown what circumstances led up to the collision and why the suspect ambushed the trooper. This investigation will likely take time as the only two people from the suspect vehicle are now dead.
On behalf of law enforcement everywhere, we would like to thank the hero who saved this trooper's life. Our thoughts and prayers remain with the trooper and his family as he goes into surgery.
You never know when being armed may save a life. All you need to protect yourselves and others is your weapon and a comfortable concealed carry holster.
Would you be ready to help a police officer in need? Please let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments below.