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HERRIMAN, Utah, Jan. 20, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Police have identified a man they say exchanged gunfire fire with police in Riverton early Saturday morning before making his way into a nearby home where he shot a male resident and then stole the family’s car.
The suspect has been identified as Justin Gary Llewelyn, 33, of Riverton.
Sheriff Rosie Rivera told Gephardt Daily the incident began around 6 a.m. when an off-duty police sergeant noticed a “suspicious person” outside the Monarch Meadow Apartments in Riverton at 13469 S. Dragonfly Lane.
Rivera said the sergeant attempted to engage Llewelyn, when he suddenly pulled a handgun and began firing.
Llewelyn then ran into the neighborhood where he was engaged by a second officer. The two exchanged gunfire before Llewelyn fled, jumping a fence as he escaped into the darkness.
Minutes later, Llewelyn forced his way into a home at 4949 W. Duncan Meadow Lane, where he shot a man in the chest and then stole the family’s car. Police say the wounded man was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, although his condition was later upgraded.
While driving away, police say Llewelyn slammed into a pickup truck parked outside the home, knocking it into a fence. Undeterred, he headed to Herriman and abandoned the car at the intersection of South Ashland Ridge Drive and West Woodsmere Lane.
From there, Llewelyn seemed to vanish, prompting police to set up a massive containment area — from Mountain View Corridor to Rose Crest Road and from 13400 South to the area surrounding Blackridge Reservoir.
Police used reverse 911 calls to warn residents within a 4-mile radius to keep their doors locked and stay inside their homes. They were also asked to report any suspicious activity.
By mid-afternoon, police had entered a number of homes searching for the suspect, described then by police as a male wearing dark clothing with dark facial hair.
In the months prior to this incident, Llewelyn had been living with family near the Riverton/Herriman border. Llewelyn has extensive criminal history with numerous bookings in to the Salt Lake County Jail over the last 15 years.
Police are asking anyone living in the area with surveillance cameras to review their footage starting at 6 a.m. If they see anything out of the ordinary, they are asked to call police dispatchers at 801-743-7000.
Gephardt Daily has crews on multiple scenes as police continue their search efforts. We will update the story as new information becomes available.