AVONDALE, Ariz. - A gun raffle was held in Avondale Saturday to benefit an Arizona DPS Trooper who was injured in the line of duty back in January. It was all part of the third annual First Responders Appreciation Day.
Every year, the owners of AZFirearms.com find a first responder who has been injured, a local firefighter, police officer or like this year, an Arizona DPS Trooper – Trooper Edward Andersson.
“When officers have been injured, first responders have been injured, it really… it affects their entire families and it affects their ability to support them financially,” said Cheryl Todd of AZFirearms.com.
Trooper Andersson was shot and severely beaten while responding to a crash on Interstate 10 in Tonopah. Now, this group is stepping up to help raise money for Trooper Andersson and his family.
“We needed to do something,” said Dan Todd, also of AZFirearms.com. “They are there for us. We need to be there for them.”
One of the people in attendance was Thomas Yoxall, the Good Samaritan who stopped and saved Andersson's life. Yoxall killed the suspect who shot and attacked Andersson. The suspect's bullet left Andersson with no use of his right arm.
“I take it on faith that, again, God put me there,” said Yoxall. “I’d like to see him make a full recovery and get back to his job as soon as possible. I know it’s going to take a while, but he’ll get there, he’s a fighter.”
Avondale Mayor Ken Weise and U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Kelli Ward also took part in the event to show their appreciation.
“Basically, selfless sacrifice in the name of law and order, which is amazing,” said Ward.
“He put his life on the line,” said Mayor Weise. “He acted the way he thought it should be done and he saved a life and I think that’s incredibly important.”
“Ed represents every trooper, every officer in Arizona and in the nation and I think it’s important that the community comes out and supports him,” he said.
Trooper Andersson still faces a long road to recovery.