GOODYEAR (AP) — A rookie state trooper still in training was fatally shot and a second trooper was wounded in a fight with a suspect who took one of the trooper’s guns in a confrontation along a highway in a Phoenix suburb, Arizona Department of Public Safety officials said Thursday.
Col. Frank Milstead said the trooper killed late Wednesday night, Tyler Edenhofer, graduated from the Department of Public Safety academy in May.
Milstead said the male suspect used a gun “lost” by one of the troopers during a fight that began after the troopers responded to motorists’ reports of a person throwing things at vehicles on Interstate 10.
The struggle lasted “a number of minutes,” Milstead said. He did not specify which trooper’s gun was fired by the suspect. The suspect was taken into custody but his identity was not made public.
The wounded trooper, Dalin Dorris, was shot through the shoulder, treated at a hospital and released, officials said.
“We’re all in a little bit of a state of shock,” Milstead told reporters. “The DPS family is in mourning.”
Department spokesman Raul Garcia said a third trooper, Sean Rodecap, was injured, but not shot, in the fight with the suspect and taken to a hospital for evaluation.
Milstead said an investigation was in early stages and gave no additional details about how the confrontation and shootings unfolded.
Edenhofer’s body was later taken in a procession to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered that all state office buildings’ flags be lowered until sunset Friday in honor of Edenhofer.
“This tragedy is an all too real and heartbreaking reminder of the harm our heroic law enforcement officers face each and every day for the safety and well-being of Arizonans, and for peace in our communities,” Ducey said in a statement.
Eastbound lanes of I-10 were closed for about eight hours before being reopened during the Thursday morning commute.