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Arizona highway patrol officer shot in head during traffic stop

PHOENIX — An Arizona highway patrol officer was out of surgery Wednesday afternoon after being shot in the head during a traffic stop.

The suspects remained at large.

The 3 a.m. shooting at a motel parking lot near Interstate 17 and McDowell Road activated a Blue Alert. The DPS officer was able to call for help. He was eventually taken to Banner Good Samaritan Hospital, where he underwent surgery.

He was moved to the intensive care unit after surgery.

“He’s here with us,” said Tim Case with the Arizona Department of Public Safety. “That’s why we’re all a little more upbeat at this time. Going through this surgery, I don’t know what it’s going to entail, but I’m sure it’s going to have some recovery time attached to it.”

Police said five suspects were in the car. The Blue Alert was canceled about noon after the car, a 2008 dark blue four-door Mercury Sable with a Kansas license plate, was found abandoned at a Phoenix apartment complex. It was towed to the police crime lab in downtown Phoenix.

The frontage road and off-ramp near McDowell and I-17 were shut down for the investigation.

The officer, whose name has not been released, has been with DPS for six years.

He pulled over the car because the tint on its windows was so dark he could not see inside, a violation of state law.

KTAR’s Cooper Rummell contributed to this report.