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In a story of true redemption, a man who had once been convicted of a felony for theft but later turned his life around by finding God saved a policeman from likely death when he shot and killed the policeman’s assailant.
On January 12, Thomas Yoxall, a photographer who had lost his gun rights when he was charged with theft in 2000, later gaining them back when his case was pleaded down to a misdemeanor in 2003, awakened in Arizona, ready to drive to Anaheim, California, for a conference.
Driving along I-10 at roughly 4:30 a.m., he saw a patrol car sped past him. Yoxall recalled later, "I was thinking, not a good way to start the morning with someone getting pulled over.”
Miles later, Yoxall saw Arizona state trooper Ed Andersson, who had been shot in the shoulder by Leonard Penuelas-Escobar, 37, vainly attempting to retrieve his Taser as Penuelas-Escobar kept striking him in the head and pounding his head into the pavement.
Andersson had been paralyzed in the right shoulder by Penuelas-Escobar’s last bullet; Penuelas-Escobar had been shooting at motorists, which is why Andersson had arrived at the scene in the first place. Andersson said later the bullet that hit him was "one in a thousand. A half inch to my right it would have missed me. A few inches to my left, it would have hit my vest."
Andersson said, "I kicked him into the fast lane hoping that a car would come by and hit him.” He rolled onto his right side, shielding his weapon from Penuelas-Escobar. He said, "I knew if he got my gun it'd be all over right then.”
Andersson later recalled, "I hear a voice ... ask me if I needed help. I said 'yes, I do.'"
Responding to Yoxall, Penuelas-Escobar screamed, "Shut up!"
Yoxall said he moved to his left to make sure Andersson was not in the line of fire. Andersson said, "The next thing I hear is two shots.” Yoxall’s first bullet hit Penuelas-Escobar in the chest; the second hit him in the head, killing him.
The helicopter Andersson summoned for the woman wound up taking Andersson to the hospital. Andersson needed over 100 stitches and staples.