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Arizona: Former Felon Saves State Trooper’s Life After Gun Rights Restored

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Published on: July 30, 2019

I have often had a problem with those who want to release violent felons after their time in prison and then not restore their rights.  After all, they claim they “paid their debt to society,” as if they owed society a debt and not their victims.  However, consider that a biblical and I would add, an American form of justice, at least how our founders and those who came before them would have viewed justice, for a thief would have been to make him restore what he paid to those he stole from with interest.  With that said, people should learn something from former felon Thomas Yoxall, after his gun rights were restored when he saved an Arizona state trooper’s life by putting down an illegal alien who was attacking the officer.

The story comes from The Phoenix Times:

The man who shot and killed an assault suspect on a dark highway in Arizona, rescuing a state trooper, said on Wednesday that he doesn’t think of himself as a hero.

The Good Samaritan had requested media anonymity since the early-morning January 12 incident on Interstate 10.

Today, he made his first appearance since the incident at a news conference at the headquarters of the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

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He identified himself as Thomas Yoxall, 43, a maintenance supervisor with a passion for photography and reading.

And he mentioned that he has a “past.”

As court records show, that past includes a 2000 conviction for felony theft.

Fortunately for DPS Trooper Edward Andersson, whose life hung on the edge before Yoxall showed up on January 12, Yoxall had his gun rights restored in 2003 after he successfully completed probation.

Yoxall has paid back his debt to society — big-time.

“That morning, I never would have dreamt that I was going to save somebody’s life, let alone take the life of another individual,” Yoxall said. “I don’t recall any thought or feeling of fear. It happened very quickly. There wasn’t necessarily time for me to react, or think logically. I don’t consider myself a hero that day.”

Yet DPS officials describe Yoxall’s actions in terms that could, in fact, best be described as heroic.

Some of those reading this also saw Yoxall’s picture that headlined the article and upon looking at him, they might consider him beneath them, especially with a felony conviction for theft, and yet, here he is taking his own life in his hands to save a police officer.  I say, well done, bro!

So what happened in detail?

Around 4am, on a stretch of Interstate 10, Trooper Anderson responded to a rollover crash and noticed both a man and a woman near the vehicle.

However, as Anderson approached, the man fired a handgun at him, hitting him in the shoulder and exiting his torso.

The man began to then wrestle with Anderson, slamming his head into the asphalt.

That’s when Yoxall showed up, and later another Good Samaritan.

“I noticed the suspect on top of Trooper Andersson, beating him in a savage way,” Yoxall said. “I immediately pulled over. My commands were ignored by the suspect as [Andersson] called out for help. And I alleviated the threat to him.”

Again, from Phoenix New Times.

As DPS Director Colonel Frank Milstead revealed last week, Yoxall positioned himself in a way to avoid further harming Andersson, then took two shots at the suspect.

Another Good Samaritan, Brian Schober, drove up and used the trooper’s radio to call for help.

While Yoxall tried to comfort Andersson, the attacker got up and came at Yoxall, who fired once more, hitting the man in the head and killing him.

Milstead identified the suspect last week as former Mexican federale Leonard Penuelas-Escobar, 37, who was living in the United States illegally.

His girlfriend, Phoenix resident Vanessa Lopez-Ruiz, 24, was killed in the rollover crash.

Milstead labeled them as meth users and accused drug dealers.

So, even in the hands of non-violent former felons, a gun can be used for good to stop criminals.

I wholeheartedly support such efforts and wish our justice system would apply biblical justice in the instances like that of Yoxall, rather than caging him like an animal at the expense of the people, and on top of that, deal real justice to violent offenders.

Again, well done Mr. Yoxall!

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