Arizona police officer tells court passer-by who killed an assailant saved his life

Thomas Yoxall, the law-abiding American who killed a crazed police-attacker, may get freedom from jail if pleas from the Arizona state trooper Edward Anderson are favorably considered by court.


Image: Thomas Yoxall

During that bloody incident which occurred in January 2017, Leonard Pennelas-Escobar (the deceased) reportedly fired a shot at Anderson and was manhandling the helpless officer whose partner and director from the Department of Public Safety, Frank Milstead, failed to take actions until Yoxall came to his rescue.

Pennelas-Escobar was an illegal immigrant and drug addict from Mexico, according to the Daily MailHe was probably under the influence of alcohol at the time.

Yoxall, who spoke for the first time last Tuesday told reporters that he was “put there by God.”

“It’s who I am – I can’t arbitrarily stand by and watch a tragedy like that unfold without doing what I can to intervene and stop it,” Yoxall said, according to a CBS update.

“…I responded the only way I know how to respond, and that’s to act.

“It was very visceral and instinctive – I had to help,” Yoxall said in tears during a press conference.

Media reports confirm Anderson had rushed to help Leonardo Pennelas-Escobar and his girlfriend after both had a rollover crash on Interstate 10.

It was a mystery how and why Pennelas-Escobar opened fire on him, according to reports from the police.


Image shows Edward Anderson

Anderson was brutally shot and beaten by the Mexican suspect he tried to help, until a passing driver saved his life by killing the man.

New police reports show Anderson noticed that Pennelas-Escobar’s girlfriend was badly injured so he set up flares to alert other drivers and get them to slow down on the major highway.

Moments later, Pennelas-Escobar appeared with a gun in his hand, said something in Spanish, and shot the police officer twice in the shoulder.

The Mexican assailant also hit Anderson on the head with his gun, which police investigations confirmed to have been stolen from a home few months earlier.

Yoxall, the armed driver who witnessed that violent attack, quickly got off his vehicle and fired a fatal shot at Pennelas-Escobar after warning him to stop lynching the 28-year-old officer.

Officer Anderson underwent multiple surgeries and is yet to resume work since the incident.

Answering a question on what could have happened if the good Samaritan had not offered help, he said: “Probably, I’d be dead. He was never going to stop.”

The survivor told investigators that Yoxall should be commended rather than prosecuted for saving his life.

Police findings show Pennelas-Escobar was speeding in the western part of Phoenix at about 55 miles per hour when his car rolled over, ejecting his girlfriend Vanessa Monique Lopez-Ruiz. The 23-year-old girl died later.

The late driver was born in Sinaloa, a state in Mexico, the Associated Press confirmed. He was employed in 2007 but had no job at the time of his death.

Yoxall will most likely walk free from prison. He hasn’t been charged with a crime because the state of Arizona has a law which permits citizens “to use deadly force against a person who is threatening or injuring another person.”


Image: Pennelas-Escobar

Milstead said Pennelas-Escobar had no known criminal history.

However, the 37-year-old Pennelas-Escobar was in the country illegally, and has been a drug user. Interestingly, he is believed to have once worked as a Mexican police officer.