TONOPAH, Ariz.- January 12 is a day state trooper Ed Andersson will probably never forget.
It was the day Andersson's life hung in the balance as a suspect, 37-year-old Leonard Penuelas-Escoba, attacked him.
Andersson had responded to the area near Tonopah on Interstate 10 early in the morning in reference to 911 calls of shots being fired at passing drivers. Once there, Andersson spotted a vehicle just off the roadway. It was overturned and a woman had been ejected.
In an interview with CNN, Andersson said he saw a man holding the woman in his arms. He set up flares, blocked the slow lane and called in for assistance from a medical helicopter. He returned to the vehicle, with no sign of the man.
That's when Penuelas-Escobaas ambushed and shot him. Andersson fought for his life.
Andersson told CNN he knew he had to shield his weapon saying if his attacker got ahold of his gun, "it'd be all over right then."
But the attack did end. Andersson was still alive and the threat was over, thanks to an armed good Samaritan who just happened to be passing by and pulled over to help.
Thomas Yoxall, 43, shot and killed Penuelas-Escobaas saving the life of the state trooper.
"As much as I fought, at one point I probably couldn't have gone on anymore," Andersson told CNN. "I probably wouldn't be here"
Speaking for the first time publicly at a news conference in January, Yoxall -- a maintenance worker with no law enforcement or military experience -- said what he did that day was just who he is. He couldn't "stand by and watch a tragedy like that unfold without doing what I can to intervene and stop it."
"It was very visceral and instinctive," he said. "I had to help -- I knew I had to help, so there wasn't an option for me."
According to CNN, the two have met several times in the days following the incident -- creating a special, lifelong bond.
And although Yoxall said he doesn't consider himself a hero, Andersson praised the man who saved his life, telling CNN he did a "fabulous thing."
"I get to see my grand kids grow up, my daughters get married eventually," he said.
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