DPS: 1 officer shot, suspect dead in Quartzsite officer-involved shooting

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: Ruben Arellano) (Source: Ruben Arellano)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is investigating an officer-involved shooting that occurred in Quartzsite late Tuesday night. DPS said one officer was shot and is in serious condition. 

According to Trooper Kameron Lee, it all started at about 10:40 p.m. when Quartzsite police received calls of two houses on fire in El Mirage RV Park on 110 N. Washington Street in Quartzsite. 

When officers arrived, they learned the fires were set intentionally.

Beverly and George Cunningham manage El Mirage, and live next door to it. They woke up when their dog, Daisy, started barking. Beverly could see a man through the window.

“I saw him right at our deck on our front porch with a red flare lighting the porch,” she said. 

She screamed as the man, whom she recognized as an El Mirage tenant, set their home on fire. Her husband ran to the front door, where the man pulled a gun on him.

“I just freaked out and I started screaming at the poor lady on 9-1-1," Beverly said. "She probably thinks I’m crazy.” 

The 911 dispatcher who was on the line with Beverly told them to run out the back door, which they did safely.

Because the Cunninghams recognized the man who torched their home, they could give a description to police.

Lee said DPS troopers were called to assist Quartzsite PD with the suspect search at about 11:30 p.m.

About an hour later, Quartzsite police and two DPS troopers located the suspect near a Burger King.

[SPECIAL SECTION: 2018 Officer-involved Shootings]

Lee said the suspect fired at the officers and troopers, striking one officer.

Troopers returned fire and aided the injured officer. Lee said the injured officer was then transported to Lake Havasu Regional Medical center with serious injuries. 

The suspect then fled north from the area of the shooting to another area where troopers say he had previously set up an place to hide, using a block wall and his vehicle for cover. 

Lee said the suspect had also set up multiple weapons including rifles, a handgun and ammunition. Troopers tried to negotiate with the suspect but were unsuccessful. 

“Something you see on TV, not in real life,” Beverly said. 

Troopers then fired at the suspect, who was shot. Paramedics pronounced the suspect dead on scene. 

DPS is leading the ongoing investigation.

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