A veteran Arizona state trooper is hospitalized with gunshot wounds and the man who gunned him is down is dead after he in turn was shot by a passing motorist who stopped to help the wounded officer. Trooper Edward Andersson, a 27-year veteran of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, is being treated for wounds to his right shoulder and chest after he was shot in what’s being termed an “ambush” when he came upon a fatal rollover crash on a remote stretch of Interstate 10 in the Arizona desert. At the time the trooper was on his way to investigate reports of shots fired at a passing car.

Col. Frank Milstead, the director of the department, told reporters outside the hospital where Andersson was being treated that the trooper had been sent to investigate the shots fired on a lonely stretch of the highway near the desert community of Tonapah around 4:20 a.m. Thursday.

Trooper was shot at scene of crash

The dramatic chain of events began to unfold as Andersson drove to the scene and came upon a rollover crash, where a woman had been ejected from the vehicle. Milstead says when Andersson got of his patrol car he was shot twice, with his assailant then jumping on him and banging his head against the pavement. A passing motorist who had stopped to help the stricken officer ended up shooting the suspect.

Passing motorist used trooper's radio to call for help

“That person retreats back to his own vehicle, retrieves his own weapon from the vehicle, confronts the suspect, giving him orders to stop assaulting the officer,” Milstead told reporters. “The suspect refuses, the uninvolved third party fires, striking and killing the suspect,” Milstead said.

The passing motorist then got on the trooper’s radio to call for help. The names of the suspect, the woman who died in the rollover crash, or of the passing motorist have not been released. But investigators believe the suspect was driving the vehicle that led to the woman’s death.

As for the wounded trooper, despite being shot twice, he’s expected to recover after undergoing surgery.

“He’s incredibly fortunate to be with us today,” Milstead said.