DPS: Gunfire exchange with homicide suspect closes I-10 west of Phoenix

I-10 westbound was closed for several hours at a shoot-out between suspect and DPS took place near milepost 55 in Vicksburg.

PHOENIX - Troopers with the Department of Public Safety exchanged in gunfire with a man causing a scene that closed Interstate 10 westbound Tuesday morning from milepost 81 to milepost 45 for police activity, according to ADOT.

According to DPS, 36-year-old Sladjan Petkovic was transported to the hospital by air ambulance after the shoot out at a rest area near milepost 55. Prior to the gunfire exchange, Petkovic shot at a semi-truck driver on I-10 who was hit by some shrapnel, DPS said.

Westbound traffic detoured at Salome Road to US 60 and returning to I-10 via Vicksburg Road at milepost 45.

ADOT said the interstate had reopened around 9 a.m., after six hours of being closed.

A witness on scene, Dean Summers, said the gunfire lasted for about a couple hours. “I got out my camera and started taping as much as I could,” said the Summers. He shared the dramatic video of the cross fire exchange with 12 News. 

There were numerous truck drivers sleeping at the rest area when they were woken up by the shooting. One of them was Craig Moore. He immediately took cover once he realized what was going on. “When you hear gunfire, you just lay low,” Moore said. 

Another truck driver, Don, who didn’t want to give his last name, said he was terrified for his wife and baby who were inside the semi, sleeping with him, when the bullets started going off. He said he called 911.

Phoenix police confirmed Petkovic was also the suspect in a homicide that happened Monday night near 99th Avenue and Broadway Road. Police found Steven Arvallo, 45, on the sidewalk suffering from gunshot wounds before 6 p.m. Monday. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he died.

Arvallo was a worker with the Arizona Department of Corrections, according to the department.

Investigators believe the two men were involved in an ongoing dispute. 

Police said Petkovic also fired shots at the victim's home. A woman and a boy were inside at the time but were not injured. He then attempted to force his way into the home but could not open the door.

Petkovic shot at the original victim several more times before fleeing in a gray Jeep Cherokee, police said.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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