A man who ambushed an Arizona Highway Patrol officer last week was in the United States illegally, it’s been confirmed.
The story of the attack made headlines after a passing good Samaritan shot and killed Leonard Penuelas-Escobar, who’d been observed bashing the patrol officer’s head into the pavement. Escobar opened fire on the officer prior to making physical contact.
During a news conference on the incident, Director of DPS Col. Frank Milstead said Escobar had no criminal record despite persistent drug usage.
“We showed that he attempted to cross the border on one occasion and was turned back,” Milstead said. “We also have information that leads us to believe that in 2007 he was actually a federal police officer for the Mexican Police.”
Trooper Edward Andersson, the officer assaulted by Escobar, has been an officer of DPS for 27 years.
Andersson had surgery at Goodyear Hospital nearby and is in serious but stable condition.
Photo via AZ Family