The Arizona Department of Public Safety is investigating after a trooper was shot during a response call near Tonopah, 50 miles west of Phoenix early last Thursday morning. The incident occurred after 4 a.m. on westbound Interstate 10 west of Tonopah.
According to DPS Col. Frank Milstead, a citizen called to report that their vehicle was being shot at from the median near milepost 81 on I-10.
A trooper that was in the area had just left another traffic stop to investigate the call when he came upon a rollover crash near milepost 89. He saw a woman there, who had been ejected from the crash and began working to block lanes.
At that time, according to the Arizona DPS, the trooper was “ambushed” by a suspect who came from an unknown direction. The suspect shot the trooper at least once in the chest-shoulder area and fought the trooper to the ground.
Two passersby then stopped to render aid and the trooper shouted for help. Officials say it was at that point one man went back to his car, grabbed a gun and shot at the suspect who was not following his commands to stop attacking the trooper. The suspect was killed at the scene.
A second man, Scottsdale resident and former medic Brian Schober, helped stabilize the trooper and asked where his radio was located to call for help.
Schober and the other man watched over the suspect to make sure he wasn't going to harm anyone else.
“If he would have tried to stand up, he would have been shot again,” Schober said.
He also explained that God put him and the other Good Samaritan “in the right place at the right time.”
DPS Col. Milstead stated a message for the motorist who shot the suspect and called on the trooper's radio for help.
“Thank you,” Milstead said, “because I don't know if my trooper would be alive today without his assistance.”
So, once again, a heroic tale of being in the right place, at the right time, with the right tools for the job.