Authorities are only beginning to unravel the incident that took place last Thursday in which a Good Samaritan shot and killed another man who was attacking an Arizona state trooper. No one knows why the suspect ambushed and shot the trooper nor why his car had flipped over into a ditch.
But one thing is certain: the Good Samaritan’s concealed carry firearm allowed him to save the trooper’s life.
“My trooper would not be alive without his assistance,” Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Frank Milstead said of the driver who stopped to assist.
It all started around 4:30am last Thursday. Arizona State Trooper Edward Andersson was responding to reports of gunfire along the median of Interstate 10 west of Tonopah, Arizona.
He pulled up to find a vehicle flipped over in the ditch. He did not immediately see anyone around the vehicle, so he began setting up flares.
The suspect shot Andersson twice as he was lighting flares, once in the shoulder and once in the chest. The attacker proceeded to beat the trooper with his pistol and slam his head into the pavement, according to CBS affiliate KPHO.
That’s when another man—who has yet to be identified and has told the media he does not give interviews—pulled up along the deserted stretch of road and asked the trooper if he needed assistance. The Good Samaritan retrieved his firearm from his truck and warned the suspect to stop his attack. When he refused, the Good Samaritan shot the suspect, who died at the scene.
But Andersson’s life was still in danger.
Fortunately, another man, who CNN has identified as Brian Schober, pulled up to offer assistance. Schober is a former EMT, who says some of his training “probably came back instinctively.”
He calmly used the officer’s radio to call for help and worked to stop Andersson’s bleeding.
“The timing was everything. If the civilian had been there any later the cop would probably have bled out,” Schober said. “If I hadn’t been driving that way at that time, the authorities probably wouldn’t have made it on time and the cop would have died. It was a two-pronged scenario, and we were there at that time for a reason.”
Milstead said the officer’s surgery went well and that it “looks like he will be okay after some recovery.”
But the suspect wasn’t the only casualty of the incident. A woman was found at the scene who had apparently been ejected from the rolled-over vehicle. She was airlifted to the hospital, but she died of her injuries.
Authorities believe the suspect was also involved in the initial car accident, but it’s too early to say for sure.
The Arizona State Troopers Association is now accepting donations to support Andersson and his family.