One Arizona trooper might have died had it not been for a bystander, authorities say.
Capt. Damon Cecil, PIO for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, told reporters that early Thursday morning, the trooper investigated a rollover collision on Interstate 10 near the small community of Tonpah.
“When he got out to check on that, that’s when he was ambushed by the subject, and shot and wounded,” he said.
He told AZ Central the trooper was laying down some flares to light up the dark road and that is when the suspect attacked. A fight ensued, but things weren’t going well for the wounded officer, a 27-year veteran.
That’s when help arrived. A man, who remains unidentified, saw the incident when he was driving by with his wife. He stopped the car. Col. Frank Milstead said the man witnessed the suspect slamming the trooper’s head into pavement.
This suspect allegedly refused to stop attacking the trooper so bystander shot and killed him.
The incident remains under investigation. Investigators also found a deceased woman ejected from the crashed car, which was registered to Arizona.
“We believe the suspect was in the rolled-over car, but it hasn’t been confirmed,” Cecil said. But he was clear about one thing in particular, saying: “We do know that the citizen who stopped and assisted our trooper absolutely saved [the trooper’s life].”
Thanks for the thoughts and prayers this morning for our Trooper that was shot. Looks like he will be okay after some recovery @Arizona_DPS
— Col. Frank Milstead (@frank_milstead) January 12, 2017
[Screengrab via AZ Central]