MOUNT VERNON,ILLINOIS–A shootout along an interstate highway in southern Illinois early on Tuesday resulted in the death of a New Mexico driver and the injury of a state policeman, according to police.

According to Illinois State Police, a trooper stopped along Interstate 64 at around 3 a.m. to help a driver who had become trapped on the right shoulder of the westbound lanes.

Driver Brandon L. Gryphon, 23, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and a female passenger were seen by the police.

State police claimed that once a second state trooper arrived, “an altercation occurred during which gunfire was exchanged between Gryphon and a responding officer.”

A 16-year veteran trooper was shot and hospitalised with non-life-threatening injuries, according to authorities, while Gryphon was pronounced dead at the site.

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According to authorities, neither the female passenger nor the other trooper suffered any injuries.

The incident took place close to Mt. Vernon, the county seat for Jefferson, some 80 miles (130 km) southeast of St. Louis, and it forced the closure of the eastbound lanes of the interstate for more than three hours.

The investigation is being handled by internal investigators within the organisation, according to state police, and no further information will be made public.

The Jefferson County State’s Attorney’s Office will analyse the findings and evidence when state police have finished their investigation, according to the police.