The Arizona Department of Public Safety is refusing to answer follow-up questions after dropping nearly two hours of recordings at 9:45 p.m. Friday night.
In those recordings is radio traffic from a pursuit that started with a stolen work truck in Gilbert. Authorities chased the suspect north onto I-17. The suspect, Bradley Moore, was killed when he hit a guardrail and fell several hundred feet down an embankment near Camp Verde.
Trailing the suspect for much of the journey was DPS Lt Col. Heston Silbert, the department's second-in-command. Silbert was off-duty the day of the chase but joined in after he says he witnessed the suspect steal the work truck.
Silbert followed the truck in his own black pickup across several Valley freeways, until he ran over spike strips laid out to catch the suspect.
The audio recordings of the incident detail communications between Silbert, a law enforcement helicopter tailing Moore and other troopers involved.
DPS said the pursuit commander is in charge, raising the question: since Silbert was closest to the suspect and among the department's top brass, did that make him the one calling the shots? If so, what are the checks and balances in place?
Silbert is recorded ordering a pit maneuver to try and stop the suspect, even though they typically aren't ordered at freeway speeds for safety reasons.
Sources tell ABC15 DPS had Silbert's personal truck towed after it was damaged during the chase, a move that isn't within departmental policy. Officials have declined repeated requests by ABC15 to speak with Col. Frank Milstead, the head of the Department of Public Safety.