Law enforcement officials speak out following Tuesday's I-10 shootout
Law enforcement officials spoke out Wednesday afternoon, about a shootout along the I-10 on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, Westbound I-10 was closed, near Quartzsite, for more than five hours. That was where DPS found a man who was wanted for a homicide in the West Valley.
According to DPS officials, the suspect was at a rest stop when a trooper showed up and started giving commands. That trooper was then met with gunfire, and it turned into a fight for their lives.
300 rounds of ammo were used during the fight, and the suspect's vehicle was riddled with bullet holes. The suspect was identified as 36-year-old Sladjan Petkovic.
"This is the worst possible day for any law enforcement officers to be in a fight for their life with somebody who's already known to have killed somebody in another part of the state," said DPS Director Frank Milstead. "Without the equipment and training, this most likely would have had a much different ending ."
Petkovic was wanted, after police said he shot and killed his neighbor Steven Arvallo, an Arizona Department of Corrections investigator.
"There was a homicide committed in Southwest Phoenix, where a Department of Corrections employee was murdered by his neighbor, over ongoing neighbor dispute," said Milstead.
Milstead said this is the third shooting incident involving law enforcement this year, along the western stretch of the I-10 heading to California. He said if it hadn't been for multiple agencies responding, the outcomes could have been much worse.
"This is probably the most that we've been involved with all these other agencies, and we're thankful for it, and we know it's going to continue to grow," said Milstead. "And I think that as we continue to grow trust with other agencies, that we can be there and help one another, and it's really what makes Arizona safe, and really what makes Arizona different, because we do get along so well."
The suspect remains on life-support, and officials said they don't believe he will survive.
No officers were injured.