Arizona troopers say that a routine commercial vehicle inspection escalated into a wrong way police police pursuit and an officer involved shooting last Friday.
The incident that led to the shooting started at 7:35 a.m. on Friday, October 25, on I-40 east of Flagstaff, Arizona.
According to a press release from the the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the incident began when a trooper pulled over a tractor trailer for a commercial vehicle inspection.
Before the inspection, the trooper said that he spotted the truck driver and passenger “suspiciously” switching places.
During the inspection, a citizen told the trooper that he saw one of the truck occupants thrown something into the median before the inspection. Troopers later discovered a package filled with a powdery substance in the median.
Troopers say that while both the truck driver and passenger were outside the truck during the traffic stop, one of the men got back inside the semi truck and fled.
Police immediately pursued the semi truck.
The truck driver drove around stop sticks and reportedly tried to ram police pursuing him.
Eventually, the truck driver entered the eastbound lanes of I-40 driving west.
It was at this point that a trooper made the decision to use his firearm to stop the pursuit:
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.
The 35 year old Virginia-based truck driver is expected to recover.
No one else was injured during the incident.
The truck driver is facing numerous charges, including endangerment, aggravated assault, possession of narcotics, and unlawful flight.
The incident shut down a portion of eastbound I-40 for about 12 hours.