Arizona

Mar 10, 2014 8:25 PM by The Associated Press

Police: Man shot by officers was homicide suspect

PHOENIX - A man killed in a shootout with Arizona Department of Public Safety officers and a security guard on a Tempe freeway Monday morning has been identified as an ex-convict out of Colorado, authorities said.

But they said it won't be known if 25-year-old Andrew Rael is connected to one Phoenix-area killing on Sunday and possibly another earlier Monday until evidence is analyzed and forensic tests can be completed.

Tempe police said Rael has an extensive criminal history and was recently released from a Colorado prison, although details of his sentence weren't immediately released.

Rael was fatally shot in an exchange of gunfire early Monday after getting out of his vehicle and firing multiple rounds from an assault rifle at DPS officers, authorities said.

The gunbattle occurred after DPS officers used tire-puncturing strips to stop the man's car on U.S. 60 following a chase on Interstate 10 across much of the Phoenix area, DPS and Tempe police spokesmen said.

The armed security guard got involved after happening upon the scene, according to authorities who said one DPS officer suffered cuts from flying glass but no other officers were injured.

The man has been sought in the fatal shooting of a tow-truck driver Sunday outside an auto-repair business in Buckeye.

"That was our suspect," Buckeye police Lt. Jarod Griffith said of the man killed in the freeway shooting.

Another Buckeye police spokesman, Sgt. Jason Weeks, said circumstances of the Buckeye shooting remained under investigation.

Weeks said the car involved in the freeway shooting wasn't the vehicle that was on the tow truck that witnesses saw being driven away from the Buckeye shooting scene.

The tow truck was found abandoned at another location later Sunday.

Meanwhile, Glendale police said the man matched the description of a suspect sought in the fatal shooting of a convenience-store employee earlier Monday.

However, a link between the Tempe freeway shooter and the Glendale gunman hasn't been confirmed, said Officer Tracey Breeden, a Glendale police spokeswoman.

Breeden said 26-year-old employee Daniel Scott White was shot outside following a verbal altercation with an unidentified male customer.

White had confronted the man as he left the store after pumping gasoline into his vehicle, but police said the motive for the shooting was unclear.

White suffered several gunshots wounds and was later declared dead at a hospital.

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