Arizona man found guilty of attempted first-degree murder after injuring DPS trooper in gunfight

Aug 6, 2023, 6:30 AM | Updated: Aug 7, 2023, 2:25 pm

PHOENIX — An Arizona man was found guilty of attempted first-degree murder and other charges stemming from a 2022 gunfight and chase with a DPS trooper, authorities announced Friday.

Juan Manuel Rodriguez of Lake Havasu City was found guilty of a total of 11 charges on July 19, according to a press release from the department.

According to DPS, the conflict sparked when a detective tried to pull over Rodriguez, who ran a red light in his BMW sedan in the city of Kingman, on April 1, 2022.

Instead of yielding, Rodriguez drove off, triggering a chase, DPS said.

Rodriguez tried to throw the detective off his trail. He rammed his sedan into the trooper’s vehicle. After the attack, Rodriguez lost control of his vehicle, causing another crash between the two cars.

What happened next?

After that, the detective drew his gun and tried to stop Rodriguez, DPS said. However, Rodriquez ignored the officer and started reversing his car. Afraid of another crash, the detective returned to his car, but Rodriguez shot at the patrol vehicle with a full-automatic weapon.

The detective fired back and tried to leave the scene for his own safety, but Rodriguez chased him and continued shooting, DPS said. One of his rounds shot the detective in the back.

Eventually the detective left the scene to seek medical attention, DPS said. Meanwhile, Rodriguez fled to a desert area nearby, where his car stopped working.

A DPS helicopter tracked him as he collapsed on his way to Mohave County Community College, where officers detained him.

Officials later found Rodriguez had tried to conceal a bag in a desert. He had hidden almost $35,000 in cash, along with 11 grams of fentanyl and 10 grams of methamphetamine, DPS said.

They also found five firearms, an Uzi, a full-automatic handgun and multiple drug ledgers, according to DPS. The detective involved in the shootout had fully recovered and returned to duty.

What were all of Rodriguez’s guilty charges?

In addition to attempted first-degree murder, Rodriguez was found guilty on these charges:

– Aggravated assault
– Possession of narcotic drugs for sale
– Possession of dangerous drugs for sale
– Unlawful flight
– Money laundering
– Aggravated assault
– Aggravated assault
– Drive by shooting
– Discharging a firearm at a non-residential structure
– Misconduct involving weapons

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Arizona man found guilty of attempted first-degree murder after injuring DPS trooper in gunfight