Gunshot victim flown to Tucson hospital

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: A good Samaritan was airlifted to a Tucson hospital after being shot while helping change a tire on a stranded vehicle on the highway.  

By Jon Johnson

COCHISE COUNTY – Deputies from Graham and Cochise counties as well as officers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety and Willcox Police Department all responded to a 911 call regarding a man who had been shot on U.S. Highway 191 early Saturday morning.

Authorities were dispatched to an area near milepost 90 at about 4:51 a.m. regarding the shooting.

Upon arrival, they found the victim, listed as a 55-year-old male from Sahuarita, lying on the side of the road with a gunshot injury.

The victim told police that he was northbound on U.S. Highway 191 when he saw a tan, 16-passenger van broken down on the side of the road with a flat tire. The victim said he was helping change the tire when a black or dark blue SUV pulled up and the occupants started yelling at the occupants of the van. The victim was then shot, but he didn’t know where the shot  came from. According to a Graham County Sheriff’s Office report, the victim was shot in the chest and lost consciousness afterward. 

The victim was transported by ground ambulance to the intersection of U.S. Highway 191 and Interstate 10, where he was then airlifted to a Tucson hospital. He was reportedly listed as being in stable condition.

Deputies with the Graham County Sheriff’s Office searched for the vehicles in question southbound to the county line and checked all side roads but did not locate either of the vehicles.

The case remains under investigation.