Freeway Shooting Causes Rush Hour Closures

By Dennis Lambert, Peter O'Dowd
Published: Monday, March 10, 2014 - 11:30am
Updated: Monday, March 10, 2014 - 3:48pm

The man who died after a shootout with police on the U-S 60 early Monday morning was a suspect in a murder that happened over the weekend. 

Part of the eastbound U.S. 60 was closed throughout the morning rush hour Monday as authorities looked into an officer-involved shooting that happened overnight. Police said the eastbound freeway near the interchange with I-10 will remain closed for several more hours. The scene is still being processed, according to Tempe Police.

The Department of Public Safety and the Phoenix police were involved in the pursuit of the vehicle that matched the description of a vehicle believed to have being driven by a homicide suspect. DPS officers used stop sticks on the I-10 interchange to the eastbound U.S. 60, causing the vehicle to stop just west of the Hardy overpass.

Police identified the 25-year old suspect as Andrew Rael, who had recently been released from prison in Colorado. He has an extensive criminal history.

It appears that Rael sustained a lethal gunshot wound during the exchange of gunfire after he exited his vehicle and began firing multiple rounds from an assault rifle at the DPS officers. Mr. Rael hit three DPS patrol vehicles as he fired his rifle causing minor injuries to one of the officers, according to the Tempe Police Department.

Rael was a suspect in a murder case that happened Sunday in the city of Buckeye. Police say a tow-truck driver was found dead outside an auto repair shop. Meanwhile, police say Rael also matched a description from a murder at a Glendale convenience store early Monday morning. In that case, a 26-year old store employee was shot after an altercation with a customer.

Updated 3/10/2014 at 3:50 p.m.

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