Watch: Arizona DPS releases footage of 17-year-old who ambushed and tried to murder trooper


PHOENIX, AZ – The Arizona Department of Public Safety has recently released the video footage related the officer-involved shooting that took place on September 17th of 2020, where 17-year-old Luis German Espinoza Acuna was said to have opened fire on a state trooper in an “ambush” styled attack.

We’re now able to get a better understanding of what happened on September 17th when Acuna was said to have opened fire on a DPS trooper that was inside of an unmarked vehicle during that morning. However, what still is not clear is the motivation in all of this.

According to the revealed footage, Acuna had met up with the driver of the silver Infiniti on the morning of September 17th in separate vehicles outside of an auto glass shop in Phoenix.

Acuna had been driving a red sedan, and the two vehicles pulled up to the auto glass shop, with the driver of the silver Infiniti going into the passenger seat of Acuna’s red sedan.

The two produced some weapons from inside of the sedan, one of which would be the one later used in the crime that morning.

The duo had talked for roughly 20 or so minutes, with Acuna then leaving behind the red sedan and going into the silver Infiniti where the driver headed to 37th Avenue and Portland St.

The place that the driver made his way to is where the DPS troopers were already stationed while investigating a matter unrelated to Acuna or the driver of the silver Infiniti.

The trooper that was later fired upon by the suspect happened to be parked outside of the suspect’s home.

While that was merely coincidental, it’s unclear if the presence of the unmarked trooper’s vehicle positioned outside of Acuna’s home was what motivated the shooting.

The silver Infiniti then stopped the vehicle near where the trooper’s unmarked vehicle was parked, and the trooper assumed that maybe he was blocking a driveway. So he began backing up his unmarked car.

Acuna then exited the passenger door of the silver Infiniti while simultaneously trying to conceal the gun in his hand. Acuna is then said to open fire on the trooper, nearly striking him in the process.

Bullets from the suspect’s weapon wound up striking the trooper’s vehicle.

The trooper returned fire, resulting in Acuna retreating and dropping his weapon in the process. However, with all the commotion going on, the driver of the silver Infiniti quickly flees the scene. That driver is still at large currently.

Acuna has been charged with the following:

  • Attempted first-degree murder
  • Attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer
  • Two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon
  • Aggravated assault knowingly against a peace officer
  • Misconduct involving weapons (under 21 years old)
  • Misconduct involving weapons (prohibited possessor due to being an illegal immigrant)
  • Criminal damage
  • Endangerment involving risk of imminent death
  • Possession of narcotics
  • Possession of narcotics for sale

Police are still urging the public to come forward with any information they may have on the driver of the vehicle involved in the shooting from September. Tips can be submitted online at or by calling 877-272-8329.

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As mentioned earlier, Acuna is being charged with prohibited possessor due to being an illegal immigrant.

While many outlets were not even reporting the identity of the suspect due to his age, we at Law Enforcement Today bore no shame in not only sharing the suspect’s name and photo – but also his immigration status last month.

Here’s that previous report.


PHOENIX, AZ – While authorities are still searching for the second suspect reportedly involved in what was described as the “ambush” style attack against Arizona DPS troopers earlier in September, more details have surfaced regarding the 17-year-old suspect already in custody and said to be the actual shooter.

According to a statement from ICE that was obtained by the Center for Immigration Studies, 17-year-old Luis German Espinoza Acuna is an illegal immigrant from Mexico.

The statement, reportedly coming from ICE Public Affairs Officer Yasmeen Pitts O’Keefe, reads as follows:

“On Sept. 17, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lodged an immigration detainer on Luis German Espinoza-Acuna, an unlawfully present citizen from Mexico, following his arrest by the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

ICE will seek to take Mr. Espinoza-Acuna into custody if and when he is released by local authorities in order to pursue appropriate administrative enforcement action.”

When Mark Krikorian, who serves as the Executive Director for the Center for Immigration Studies, shared the news of the information delivered by ICE he also noted how there are still outlets who won’t even report on the suspect’s actual name.

Alleged gunman behind Arizona DPS trooper ambush is an illegal immigrant from Mexico
Luis German Espinoza Acuna – Arizona DPS

This comment was in reference to the Arizona Republic’s article that was written on September 18th, which read:

“The boy was ultimately arrested as the driver fled the area. The Arizona Republic is not identifying the teen because he is a minor.”

Luckily, other news outlets did share the name of the suspect after the information became publicly accessible via request.


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