Suspect critically injured following shootout on I-10 west of Phoenix

Nov 29, 2017, 6:27 PM
(AP Photo)...
(AP Photo)
(AP Photo)
LISTEN: I-10 Rest area gunfight press conference wrap up

PHOENIX — Officials with the Arizona Department of Public Safety described an officer-involved shootout that occurred on the Interstate 10 west of Phoenix this week.

Department head Col. Frank Milstead said the shootout began on Monday, when the suspect, Sladjan Petkovic, allegedly fatally shot his neighbor, Steven Arvallo, as the two were involved in an ongoing dispute.

Petkovic then fled west on the I-10 and opened fire on a truck driver on the freeway, Milstead said.

A DPS trooper then spotted Petkovic at a rest area just outside Quartzite on Tuesday morning and the two engaged in a gunfight. Petkovic was armed with two handguns and a long rifle, Milstead said.

As the gunfire persisted, deputies from LaPaz County and Quartzite Police arrived to back up the trooper.

“This firefight continues for about 20 to 30 minutes,” Milstead said. “About 300 rounds of ammo were expended during the firefight, no officers were injured.”

According to Milstead, law enforcement poured into the scene: “This incident at the rest stop ended with the Phoenix Police Department SWAT team and K-9 officer clearing the vehicle and taking the suspect into custody.”

Petkovic was critically injured in the shootout and is not expected to survive. It was unknown if he was shot by law enforcement or attempted to take his own life.

At the end of the press conference on Wednesday, Milstead praised the officers and the departments involved in the action to take down the suspect.

“With this relationship, without these men and women who stand with me, this ends completely differently,” he said.

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Suspect critically injured following shootout on I-10 west of Phoenix