Edward Anderson, a 27-year-old Arizona state trooper, answered a call to check out a report of gunfire on the freeway in a rural area near Tonopah. When he arrived, he found a car overturned and woman who had been thrown from the vehicle during the collision. As the trooper set up flares around the vehicle, the suspect shot Anderson and started beating on him. A passerby stopped and warned the suspect to stop assaulting the state trooper. When his demand was ignored, he went to his car, got his gun, and shot the suspect.
Col. Frank Milstead, director of the Public Safety Department said at some point the suspect started beating the trooper, who was unable to use his right arm to defend himself. That’s when the motorist pulled up and opened fire on the suspect.
Yet another motorist stopped and used the police radio to call in the shooting.
“Hello. Officer down, officer down outside Tonopah. Come in, please,” the man says, according to audio archived on Broadcastify, which streams radio communications between emergency responders. “He’s in real bad shape. Please send air support, helicopter, please.”
He tells the dispatcher there are two other people who are down in an “unknown condition.”
Cecil praised the motorists who stopped to help, saying, “They were calm, determined.”
A woman who was ejected from the vehicle died at a hospital, authorities said.
Capt. Damon Cecil, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety, said it was “very rare” for a citizen to come to the rescue of a law enforcement officer.
Col. Frank Milstead, director of the Public Safety Department, said he would like to thank the man who stepped in. “I don’t know that my trooper would be alive today without his assistance,” he said, according to CNN affiliate KNXV-TV in Phoenix.
Trooper Anderson was shot in the shoulder and the chest and is currently is serious but stable condition.