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Havasu Man Found Guilty of Attempted Murder of Trooper, 10 Other Charges Stemming from April 2022 Trooper-Involved Shooting

On Wednesday, July 19, 2023, following an investigation conducted by the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) Major Incident Division (MID), a jury found the suspect from an April 2022 trooper-involved shooting guilty on eleven charges, including attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault on law enforcement.

The incident occurred on April 1, 2022, when an AZDPS detective attempted to pull over the driver of a BMW sedan in Kingman after he failed stop at a stop sign. The suspect driver, later identified as Lake Havasu City resident Juan Manuel Rodriguez, did not yield and a pursuit ensued.

During the pursuit, Rodriguez attempted to ram the detective’s vehicle. Rodriguez later lost control and the detective collided with the front of his vehicle. The detective drew his duty pistol and initiated a high-risk traffic stop. Rodriguez did not obey commands and began reaching under the dash.

The BMW began to reverse and the detective, fearing he would be rammed again, sat back in his patrol vehicle. Rodriguez began shooting at the detective with a full-automatic weapon, as heard on the body worn camera footage. The detective returned fire and attempted to flee from the area for his safety.

Rodriguez’s vehicle struck the detectives vehicle as he fled. Rodriguez got behind the detective as he fled and began shooting at the rear of the police vehicle. The detective returned fire through his back window. During the exchange, the detective was struck in the back by a round fired from the pursuing BMW. The two vehicles eventually separated, and the detective was able to get to a safe location to seek medical attention. The detective was transported from the scene by a Mohave County Deputy to a local hospital where he was treated and released for his injury.

Rodriguez, who was also wounded in the gun battle, drove to a desert area nearby where the BMW became disabled. An AZDPS Ranger helicopter crew was tracking Rodriguez and observed him place a bag in a wash before walking towards the nearby Mohave County Community College campus, where he collapsed prior to reaching the school buildings. Rodriguez was detained without further incident and transported to a hospital for treatment before being booked into jail.

The bag Rodriguez attempted to conceal in the desert was recovered and found to contain $34,504 in cash, over 11 grams of fentanyl, and 10 grams methamphetamine. Additionally, five firearms, including a full-automatic handgun and an Uzi were recovered, as well as multiple drug ledgers and additional cash.

On July 19th, a jury found Rodriguez guilty of eleven charges, including:

  • Attempted first-degree murder
  • Aggravated assault
  • Possession of narcotic drugs for sale
  • Possession of dangerous drugs for sale
  • Unlawful flight
  • Money laundering
  • Aggravated assault
  • Aggravated assault
  • Drive by shooting
  • Discharging a firearm at a non-residential structure
  • Misconduct involving weapons

 

We are grateful to report Detective Shed made a full recovery and has since returned to duty.

In 2022, Arizona passed House Bill 2650, requiring independent investigations of officer-involved shootings and other police use of force incidents. The bill amended Arizona Revised Statue 41-1742 and outlines the guidelines for the DPS Major Incident Division. For more information on MID, visit www.azdps.gov/organization/mid.

 

 

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