Man with gunshot wound flown to hospital after possible officer-involved critical incident in Millard County

File Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

MILLARD COUNTY, Utah, May 21, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A man who reportedly led a deputy on a high-speed chase in rural Millard County on Thursday was found to have a critical gunshot wound as he was taken into custody near Scipio, and he has been transported by a medical helicopter to a hospital north of the central Utah town.

The State Bureau of Investigation is on the case. Agencies being investigated are the Millard County Sheriff’s Office and possibly Utah Highway Patrol, which also responded to the scene.

Millard County Sheriff Richard Jacobson said that at shortly before 10 a.m. Thursday, one or more residents called in to report a suspicious vehicle, which they said had been parked on a residential street for more than three hours.

“We responded, getting there shortly after 10:30, didn’t see the vehicle immediately,” Jacobson said. “(We) patrolled the streets and the businesses there, located what he thought was the truck at Eagle’s Landing fuel station, ran the license plate at about 20 to 11. Shortly after that, he (the deputy) announced he was in pursuit of that vehicle.”

The chase, which the deputy said reached speeds of more than 100 mph, went south on Interstate 15.

“The driver left the interstate near milepost 181, just south of us here, entered the median strip, drove some distance through the trees,” Jacobson said. “At some point then, the deputy engaged the driver, trying to approach him and identify him.”

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Officers from other agencies arrived, “and as they were taking this driver into custody an injury was noticed on him consistent with what may have been a gunshot wound, and with no clear answers right at the time, I’ve asked that the State Bureau of Investigation assist us with figuring out exactly what happened at that point.”

Jacobson said at an afternoon news conference that it is unclear who shot the bullet that injured the victim, or at what point he suffered the injury. The victim’s gray Nissan Frontier, with Colorado plates, was set to be wrapped up, towed and placed into evidence.

Jacobson said he was unaware if any contraband was found in the truck.

“Our deputies are safe,” he said. “The driver of the vehicle’s been transported to a north hospital somewhere to make sure he’s being taken care of. Medical aid was rendered immediately on scene, and we’re waiting, just as you are, for some clarifications that will come out of the SBI investigation. That’s what I know right now.”

Jacobson said the officer who pursued the suspect has been taken off patrol duty, in keeping with OICI protocol, during the investigation. Sgt. Nick Street, Utah Highway Patrol, said if SBI wants any of his officers sidelined, that will happen. It’s still too early to tell exactly what happened and who was involved, both men said.

Image: Google Maps.

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