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Highway Patrol Officer Shot

September 25
21:18 2013

Seth_Meeske_smallOn Saturday, a Department of Public Safety Highway Patrol Officer was shot while making a traffic stop just south of Payson. Officer Seth Meeske was shot by Cody Archuleta a little after 10 P.M. while approaching the vehicle. The officer was shot once in the leg, once in the forearm and another shot hit the back of Officer Meeske’s vest. Officer Meeske was then able to return to his patrol car and radio for help while Archuleta fled the scene. Incredibly, Officer Meeske then drove himself to the Payson Hospital and walked into the Emergency Room.

After a 40-mile chase after Archuleta which reached speeds of up to 100 miles-per-hour, and a shoot-out with officers after driving off the road and into a ditch, Archuleta was found with what was believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. A DPS Officer/Medic pronounced Archuleta deceased at the scene. Officer Meeske underwent surgery and reportedly is doing well and in good spirits.

According to Robert Halliday, Director of DPS,

Words fail me in describing the incredible bravery and presence of mind exhibited by Officer Seth Meeske during this incident. He is alive today because of his quick thinking after being shot numerous times. The men and women of DPS have a very difficult job and perform it with courage every day. As we have seen too many times, it is dangerous work. My thanks to the Gila County Sheriff’s Department and the Payson Police Department for their assistance in this investigation. I would like to commend the excellent response by DPS Officer Robert Derango who had just completed his law enforcement training. All of us at DPS pray for a speedy recovery for Officer Meeske. Our thoughts are with his family at this time.”

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