Flagstaff, Arizona — On Friday, October 25, 2019, at approximately 7:35 AM, an Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) trooper in a fully-marked patrol vehicle stopped a commercial truck and trailer on Interstate 40, east of Flagstaff, to conduct a commercial vehicle inspection. Prior to the traffic stop, the trooper observed the driver and front passenger suspiciously switch places with each other.
During the subsequent traffic stop and inspection, a citizen alerted the trooper that one of the occupants of the commercial truck threw something into the median prior to the traffic stop. Troopers later discovered a package filled with a powdery substance in the median. While the two occupants were outside of the commercial truck, one of the occupants was able to get back into the cab of the truck and flee from the traffic stop.
Troopers immediately began pursuing the suspect. The suspect drove the commercial truck through the median several times in order to avoid tire deflation devices deployed by troopers as they attempted to stop the suspect. During the pursuit, the suspect attempted to run into troopers in order to avoid apprehension. As the pursuit continued, the suspect alarmingly drove across the median and entered wrong-way westbound within the eastbound traffic lanes of Interstate 40. The suspect’s dangerous actions immediately placed the lives of the motoring public and pursuing troopers in peril.
A trooper who recognized the need to stop the imminent threat to life created by the suspect, positioned himself on the Walnut Canyon Road overpass of Interstate 40. As the suspect approached the overpass, the trooper fired his service rifle at the suspect, wounding him. The commercial truck began to decelerate, after which it impacted another commercial vehicle and came to a stop. Injuries from this collision were minor.
No troopers were injured.
The suspect, a 35-year-old male from Virginia, is being treated for his injuries at a hospital and is expected to recover. Charges on the suspect include multiple counts of endangerment, aggravated assault, possession of narcotics, and unlawful flight.
The suspect has a history of arrests in several states related to drugs, violent crimes and weapon violations.