An Arizona state trooper was ambushed by a random suspect while trying to help a motorist in a rollover accident, that attacker was then shot and killed by a passing motorist who stopped to help the officer.
Just after 4a.m., the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) trooper was responding to a call of a car being shot up when he came across a rollover vehicle crash and saw a woman had been ejected from the wreckage.
As the trooper began working to stop traffic the suspect came from behind and ambushed the officer, according to DPS officials. The suspect shot the trooper at least once in the chest/shoulder area and threw the trooper to the ground, while getting on top of him in an MMA style attack.
A passerby witnessing the fight stopped to assist the officer, who was screaming for help. The suspect refused to stop the attack, leading the passerby to return to his vehicle and grab his firearm.
The passerby then opened fire, fatally shooting the suspect and proceeded to use the trooper’s own radio to call for help.
DPS Col. Frank Milstead has a message for the passerby: “Thank you. Because I don’t know if my trooper would be alive today without his assistance.”
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey quickly released a statement saying: “I urge Arizonans to join me in praying for a quick recovery for this brave officer and thanking everyone who, through their actions in real time, showed our officers exactly what Arizona means when we say: ‘You have our backs-and we will always have yours.'”
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
DPS officials say the trooper was awake and talking prior to going into surgery and that his wife is by his side. The trooper is currently assigned to the commercial vehicle squad, but the department has not released his name.
“From what he has been through this morning, he is a true hero, incredibly tough individual,” Arizona DPS Col. Frank Milstead told reporters.
The woman thrown from the rolled-over vehicle also died from her injuries and investigators have yet to determine the cause of the rollover.
This is not the first time an armed citizen has been able to stop an attack on an officer. In November, a similar attack was stopped in Florida.