Good Samaritan explains why he shot, killed trooper’s attacker

Thomas Yoxall shot and killed an Arizona trooper's attacker (NBC News)
Thomas Yoxall shot and killed an Arizona trooper's attacker (NBC News)

TONOPAH, Arizona (KPNX) – Facing extraordinary circumstances with little time to think, he acted instinctively firing his weapon to save the life of another man. But, if you ask him, he doesn’t consider himself a hero.

The man, whose actions ultimately saved the life of Arizona Department of Public Safety Trooper Edward Andersson, gave an emotional account of the events that morning publicly for the first time on Tuesday.

Trooper Anderson was ambushed, shot and assaulted by a suspect on Interstate 10 after responding to 911 calls near Tonopah on January 12.

Thomas Yoxall, 43, shot and killed that suspect , later identified as 37-year-old Leonard Penuelas-Escobar, a Mexican national, after pulling over to help Trooper Andersson.

“That morning, I never would have dreamed that I would have saved somebody’s life, let alone taken the life of another individual,” said Yoxall.

Initially wishing to remain anonymous, Yoxall said coming forward now was “part of my healing process” and coming to grips with the incident.

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