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Trooper-involved shooting shuts down I-10 near Tonopah; suspect involved in deadly Phoenix shooting

WB I-10 CLOSED in W. AZ for police situation
WB I-10 CLOSED in W. AZ for police situation
Posted at 4:13 AM, Nov 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-29 00:21:16-05

Interstate 10 has fully reopened following a shooting involving DPS troopers west of Tonopah on Tuesday morning.

Westbound I-10 was closed from milepost 81 to milepost 45 for several hours, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. Both lanes reopened around 9:30 a.m.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety says a trooper around 1:50 a.m. was attempting to locate a suspect vehicle reportedly involved in a deadly shooting in Phoenix. The victim in that case has been identified as Arizona Department of Corrections investigator Steven Arvallo. 

"My dad was a very loving guy," explained Victoria Arvallo, the victim's daughter. "He cared about everybody so much and went out of his way to help everybody...he was my best friend."

The trooper came upon a tractor-trailer driver who claimed to have been shot at while on I-10. The driver reportedly suffered injuries, possibly from shrapnel, according to DPS. 

When the trooper left that scene to locate the suspect vehicle, the trooper came upon a man, matching the suspect's description, standing outside of a vehicle at the Bouse Wash Rest Stop around 2:40 a.m. The suspect then reportedly fired at the trooper and the trooper returned fire.

“The suspect was out of his vehicle when our trooper arrived into the rest area,” said DPS spokesman Tony Mapp. “He opened fire on our officer and our officer fired back.”

The shootout that would play out along the I-10 Tuesday sending traffic into a standstill for miles spawned from a murder scene nearly 90 miles away in a Tolleson neighborhood. 

La Paz County Sheriff's officials say gunfire lasted for "at least 30 minutes." 

“It was like the guy was shooting and then he took a break to like reload and continue to shoot,” said Precious Castalom. 

Still shaken, Castalom said she lives just a few doors down from where the shootout took place. Telling us she could hear shot after shot echo through the community. 

“My son, he was actually by the door so we just grabbed him and I went into the bathroom and waited until they said everything was fine,” said Castalom. “Last night they barricaded this whole neighborhood.”

DPS said the suspect, identified by Phoenix police as 36-year-old Sladjan Petkovic, was airlifted to a Phoenix hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Several law enforcement agencies were called to the scene and engaged the suspect, including Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents. No officers or troopers were hurt in the incident.

No other suspects are believed to have been involved in the incident. 

Stay with ABC15 for updates.