Payson officials to discuss shooting that injured DPS officer - KCTV5


Payson officials to discuss shooting that injured DPS officer

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DPS Officer Seth Meeske (Source: Arizona Dept. of Public Safety) DPS Officer Seth Meeske (Source: Arizona Dept. of Public Safety)

The Town of Payson will hold a meeting on Thursday to discuss a recent shooting that left an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer wounded. 

First-hand accounts of the Sept. 21 shooting and pursuit will be heard. The meeting is planned to begin at 12 p.m. in the PaysonTown Council Chambers. Specific details of the investigation, however, will not be brought up.

Officer Seth Meeske, of Payson, pulled over a vehicle driven by Cody Archuleta, DPS said. As Meeske approached the car, Archuleta shot him three times through a passenger window, DPS said.

One shot went through Meeske's forearm, another hit him in the left leg and the third shot struck the back of the officer's vest.

"Anybody that shoots somebody is a danger to everybody," said DPS spokesman Carrick Cook. "When you add the fact that he's willing to act that recklessly and shoot at a police officer, he'll shoot at anybody."

Meeske drove himself to a nearby hospital, where he was airlifted to a Phoenix trauma center. 

Meeske's injuries were "not life-threatening but serious," said DPS spokesman Carrick Cook.

The shooting happened just after 10 p.m. near State Route 87 and Longhorn, two or three miles south of Payson, Cook said. 

DPS Highway Patrol Officer Robert Derango said he heard the call for help and saw Archuleta speed through a red light in downtown Payson. Derango began to pursue Archuleta reaching speeds of up to 100 mph.

Officers from the Payson Police Department and a deputy from the Gila County Sheriff's Office joined the pursuit.

After 40 miles, Archuleta drove off the road and into a ditch near milepost 289. Archuleta shot at officers after getting out of his car and authorities returned fire, DPS said.

Archuleta was found with what was believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, DPS said. Officers gave Archuleta first aid and a DPS air rescue helicopter landed to help. A DPS medic pronounced Archuleta dead at the scene.

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