TONOPAH, Ariz. - A suspect is dead and a DPS trooper recovering after he was attacked and shot along the I-10 early Thursday.
Officials with the Department of Public Safety say the trooper is alive because of the quick actions of some good Samaritans, one of them who pulled over and then shot and killed the suspect. The other one was able to get help out to the far West Valley near Tonopah.
The trooper, 27-year DPS veteran, Edward Anderson, is in serious but stable condition at Abrazo West hospital in Goodyear. He underwent surgery for gunshot wounds to a shoulder and arm.
12 News spoke with the Scottsdale man who sprang into action and used the trooper’s radio to call for help.
The voice you hear over a DPS trooper’s radio, asking a dispatcher for help, is Brian Schober. He was on his way to Yuma for work at about 4:45 a.m. Thursday.
Schober didn’t want to do an interview on camera, saying he wants the focus to remain on the injured trooper, but he did describe what happened when he drove up to the scene.
“I saw the officer’s patrol car in the middle of the highway,” he said. “I saw a person… he flagged me down for help.”
When Schober stopped, he saw the officer on the ground.
“I kneeled down by the officer and asked if he was okay,” Schober said. “He said he was hurt.”
“I asked him if he was shot and he told me he was shot,” said Schober. “He pointed to his shoulder and said yes. His face was covered with blood and his head was bloody.”
Schober noticed another witness on scene trying to call 911, but couldn’t get through so that’s when he decided to use the trooper’s radio.
“I used the officer’s hand radio and called dispatch to request a helicopter for first aid and backup,” he said. “She asked for confirmation... who was shot?”
Schober told the dispatcher the trooper and suspect both sustained gunshot wounds. Schober says the suspect was lying about two feet away from the trooper.
“He was moving and groaning,” he said. “He was very much alive.”
Shortly after the first officer arrived on scene, about 10 to 15 minutes later, he says the suspect stopped making noise. The suspect had died.
The man who flagged Schober down was another good Samaritan.
"I heard him introduce himself to the cop as the one who shot the suspect," he said. "Thank God he was there."
Schober heard the good Samaritan let the officer know where his weapon was. While they waited for medical responders to arrive.
"We tried to comfort him," he said. "Another witness had gotten a first aid kit out of the officer’s car and started first aid until the medics arrived.”
Schober and the other man were interviewed at the scene by police and then taken to the Buckeye police station for a statement. Finally, they were taken back to the scene where they were able to get their vehicles.
Schober is just glad they were able to help.
"25 years ago I was EMT… that’s about it,” he said. Some of that training must have come in to play this morning. He said he’ll be back on the road for that work trip on Monday.
The investigation is ongoing. DPS says the shooting happened at the scene of a rollover crash where a woman was ejected and fatally injured. Trooper Anderson spotted the wreck as he responded to a report of shots being fired at another motorist's vehicle. Authorities say a possible motive for the attack on the trooper remains unclear.