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Lake Havasu man accused of trying to kill DPS trooper found guilty

PHOENIX — An Arizona man was convicted of attempted first-degree murder and other charges stemming from a 2022 shootout and chase with DPS officers, officials said Friday.

Juan Manuel Rodriguez of the City of Lake Havasu was convicted of a total of 11 counts on July 19. According to a ministry press release.

DPS said the clash began when detectives tried to stop Rodriguez as he drove away in a BMW sedan at a red light in the city of Kingman on April 1, 2022.

DPS said Rodriguez didn’t give way and drove off, and a chase began.

Rodriguez tried to get the detective out of the chase. He rammed his sedan into a cop’s car. After the attack, Rodriguez lost control of his car and another collision occurred between the two cars.

What happened next?

Detectives then pulled out a gun and tried to stop Rodriguez, DPS said. However, Rodriguez ignored the cops and started backing up his car. Fearing further accidents, the detectives returned to the car, but Rodriguez opened fire on the patrol car with an automatic rifle.

Detectives opened fire and tried to leave the scene for their own safety, but Rodriguez chased them and continued shooting, the DPS said. One of his shots shot the detective in the back.

Detectives eventually left the scene to seek medical attention, the DPS said. Rodriguez, meanwhile, fled to a nearby desert area, where his car stopped working.

A DPS helicopter pursued him after he collapsed en route to Mojave County Community College, and officers took him into custody.

Authorities later discovered that Rodriguez had tried to hide the bag in the desert. According to the DPS, he hid about $35,000 in cash along with 11 grams of fentanyl and 10 grams of methamphetamine.

The DPS also found five firearms, an Uzi, an automatic pistol, and multiple drug registers. The detective caught in the shootout made a full recovery and returned to his duties.

What exactly were Rodriguez’s guilty charges?

In addition to attempted first-degree murder, Rodriguez was convicted of the following charges:

– aggravated assault
– Possession of drugs for sale
– Possession of dangerous drugs for sale
– illegal flight
– money laundering
– aggravated assault
– aggravated assault
– Drive by shooting
– Firing firearms in non-residential buildings
– Illegal activities with weapons

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