PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- A teenager is in custody and another suspect is still on the loose after opening fire on two Arizona DPS troopers in Phoenix early Thursday, Sept. 17.
The suspect in custody has been identified as 17-year-old Luis German Espinoza Acuña.
The troopers were in the area of 37th Avenue and Portland Street to serve a warrant on a wanted subject. The troopers were sitting in an unmarked vehicle when a silver vehicle approached them.
At that time, the driver of the silver car pulled up and honked the horn. One of the troopers then started to get out of the car.
The passenger in the suspect vehicle raised a rifle and fired at the troopers.
“He began to shoot at our trooper as he exited his car,” DPS director Heston Silbert during a news conference Thursday evening. “He was ambushed.”
The two DPS troopers returned fire as the vehicle drove away. DPS troopers were able to take Acuña into custody, but the driver escaped capture.
That suspect was last seen driving a silver, four-door, 2013 Infiniti with custom chrome wheels and a temporary paper license plate. If you have any information, you’re asked rto call 1-877-272-8329.
No one was injured in this incident. But Silbert pointed out that this was just one of several acts of violence against police over the past week. He called it an unspeakable theme" against officers, which includes not just shooting but also targeting, threatening and intimidating officers. “We’ve never seen anything like this,” he said.
A Blue Alert went to cell phones shortly after 12:30 p.m., and again just before 8 p.m. A Blue Alert is issued by DPS when a suspect who injured or killed a law enforcement officer or might pose a threat to the community.
The Blue Alert is one of three that make up the AZDPS Alert System. The others are AMBER, for abducted children who might be in imminent danger, and Silver, for “when a person with specific cognitive or developmental disabilities, as defined by statute, or a person the age of 65 or older goes missing.”
The Blue Alerts and Silver Alerts were rolled out last year.
“We want the public to understand; the purpose of these alerts is to involve them in a joint and timely effort to help save lives,” DPS Sgt. Kameron Lee told Arizona’s Family a year ago.
In addition to sending out cell phone notifications, information about the specific alert is put up on Arizona Department of Transportation message boards. There are 108 of those throughout the Valley.