AVONDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ/AP) - An Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper has died and another is injured following a shooting on Interstate 10 in the west Valley.
The trooper killed was identified by DPS officials Thursday as 24-year-old Tyler Edenhofer. He was hired by the department in September of 2017, and graduated from the DPS academy in May. According to DPS Director Frank Milstead, Trooper Edenhofer was in the last days of field training, and had been a trooper for 52 days.
Thursday afternoon, DPS officials held a news conference on the deadly incident.
During the news conference, DPS Director Col. Frank Milstead said DPS first received a call of a suspect throwing objects at cars, at around 10:17 p.m. Trooper Edenhofer, along with another officer, was called to the scene for backup. The suspect and troopers later became involved in a struggle.
"There was about an eight-minute fight roadside that went on," said Col. Milstead.
Somehow, the suspect managed to get the gun of one of the troopers and used it to shoot two of them.
The gun, according to Col. Milstead Thursday, was the service weapon of Trooper Sean Rodecap. Trooper Rodecap suffered minor injuries during the struggle with the suspect. As of Thursday, it is unclear how the suspect, identified by Col. Milstead as 20-year-old Isaac D. King, got the weapon.
Rodecap, according to Col. Milstead, was in street clothes, as he was field training Edenhofer.
"He was actually in blue jeans and a t-shirt," said Col. Milstead. "He looked just like a citizen observer that night."
DPS officials also say that meant Rodecap had a standard holster for his weapon.
"This was a leather holster that was secured to the belt, non-retention, which means it has a snap up top and no mechanism within inside to keep somebody from grabbing it without hitting a button or maneuvering at a certain angle," said Col. Milstead.
DPS says the other trooper involved in the shooting, identified as Dalin Dorris, was shot in the shoulder and has been released from the hospital.
Meanwhile, King been taken into custody. According to Col. Milstead, King had no criminal history, but had a mental health history, and was apparently on medication for anxiety and depression. King's mother, according to Col. Milstead, is cooperating.
Eastbound I-10 has reopened from Litchfield to Avondale.
During the news conference, Col. Milstead had a plea for others.
"I would just ask everyone to remember the volatility of this job, the violence that go along with it, and the fact that we ask young men and women to make split-second decisions on their own lives and others, and then we talk about it for months to come," said Col. Milstead.
GoFundMe for late DPS officer Tyler Edenhofer