10/26/2019 UPDATE: DRIVER INTENTIONALLY DRIVING WRONG-WAY ON I-40 IS SHOT BY TROOPER

October 25th, 2019 at 9:08 AM

FROM DPS 10/26/2019: 

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.

ORIGINAL STORY:

State Troopers are on Interstate 40 near the bridge at Walnut Canyon eastbound at milepost 203 (3 miles east of Flagstaff) with a semi-truck that was involved in a pursuit with Troopers. Shots have been fired and the truck is now crashed. I-40 is closed in both directions. Driver is barricaded inside the truck. AVOID THE AREA. SWAT is en route. Stay tuned to Flagscanner for updates. This post will auto-refresh.

UPDATE 9:14 am: I-40 is now closed between Country Club and milepost 204. All ramps in between are closed as well. Standoff with the truck driver is underway. Troopers did fire shots at the truck. DPS helicopter is landing on the scene.

UPDATE 9:16 am: Troopers are deploying pepper balls (non-lethal rounds) into the cab of the truck.

UPDATE 9:21 am: K-9 Dog deployed, the suspect is out and requiring medical attention. Troopers are clearing the truck now.

UPDATE 9:25 am: Suspect is in custody. Unknown extent of injuries, or if any Officers are hurt. Westbound I-40 traffic is being opened. Eastbound remains closed.

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