A man who shot an Arizona state trooper and smashed the officer’s head into the pavement last week – until a God-fearing, gun-toting stranger came to the trooper’s rescue and shot the attacker dead – was a drug-abusing illegal alien and former member of the Mexican federal police, according to authorities.
As WND reported Jan 12, a 27-year Arizona Department of Public Safety trooper came upon the scene of a rollover crash on Interstate 10 in Tonopah, Arizona, at about 4:20 a.m. A woman, 23-year-old Vanessa Monique Lopez-Ruiz, had been ejected in the accident and later died.
Then the officer, Edward Andersson, pulled over to help and block off lanes of traffic with flares.
Suddenly a man who had been driving the vehicle, illegal alien Leonard Pennelas-Escobar, said something in Spanish and ambushed the trooper, punching him and shooting him in the right shoulder.
The assailant straddled the wounded officer, continuing to attack him and smashing his head into the concrete.
“The suspect is getting the better of the trooper and is on top of him and striking the trooper’s head on the pavement,” said Arizona DPS Director Col. Frank Milstead, who provided details of the incident to reporters.
That’s when an unnamed Good Samaritan, who had been traveling toward California on the interstate with his wife, quickly pulled over to help.
The passerby asked the trooper if he needed assistance, and the officer replied, “Please help me.”
“That person retreats back to his vehicle, removes his own weapon from the vehicle, confronts the suspect, giving him orders to stop assaulting the officer,” Milstead said.
But the attacker refused to stop beating the trooper.
So the Good Samaritan fired two shots, which momentarily incapacitated the attacker.
While the Good Samaritan attempted to help the wounded trooper, Pennelas-Escobar emerged again and attempted to continue harming the officer.
That’s when the armed motorist fired the fatal shot that saved the trooper’s life.
“He definitely kept him (Andersson) from having much more serious neurological injuries from this beating,” Milstead said, according to the Associated Press.
Andersson underwent surgery and has been released from the hospital.
The Good Samaritan, who has not spoken publicly about the shooting, was described as a “humble” and “spiritual” man who believes God sent him to the scene to save the trooper’s life.
“He knows he did the right thing,” Milstead said. “He is trying to reconcile that in his mind, which is difficult to take a life even when you know it’s the right thing to do.”