Suspect in DPS Trooper shooting identified as former Mexican police officer
PHOENIX (KSAZ) - A trooper with the Department of Public Safety (DPS) who was ambushed while investigating a call on Interstate 10 last week is now out of the hospital, as authorities released more details surrounding the incident.
According to DPS Director Frank Milstead, the department is starting to piece together what happened last week involving trooper Edward Andersson. Anderson was reportedly shot in the shoulder, while investigating a shots fired call and rollover on Interstate 10.
"Somewhere, as he's closing distance between the trooper vehicle and what he things is a moment to provide first aid, the suspect pulls out a .9mm pistol and fires one time, and strikes Trooper Andersson," said Millsted.
The suspected shooter in the incident has been identified as 37-year-old Leonard Pennales-Escobar, a former Mexican police officer. Escobar's passenger, identified as a 23-year-old woman, died at the scene.
According to Milstead, Escobar then attacked Trooper Andersson, striking his head on the ground several times, until a Good Samaritan stepped in. The Good Samaritan ordered the suspect to stop, and when Escobar didn't listen, he was shot twice.
"As he's administering first aid, this Good Sam to Andersson, the suspect gets up a second time, and begins to attack them again," said Milstead. "As the suspect approaches, the Good Samaritan fires another round, this time, striking the suspect in the head, mortally wounding him and ending the fight."
Escobar was reportedly in the United States illegally, and DPS officials said while Escobar had no criminal history in the U.s., he was a known drug user. As for the female passenger, she had several warrants out for her arrest, ranging from alleged Drug Possession to alleged Shoplifting.
The mother of the woman is struggling to accept her daughter's death.
"She was an outgoing person," said the mother. "She was always smiling. She'd make you guys laugh. She's a very loving, caring person."