Police ID suspect shot, wounded, after driving into deputy in Spanish Fork

Officials have identified a suspect shot during an attempted traffic stop near 100 South and 200 East in Spanish Fork in the early hours of Monday morning. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza

SPANISH FORK, Utah, April 9, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Officials have identified a suspect shot during an attempted traffic stop near 100 South and 200 East in Spanish Fork in the early hours of Monday morning.

The suspect is Wade Leon Willis, 38, of Springville,¬†according to a news release Monday morning from Sgt. Spencer Cannon, of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

The officer-involved shooting occurred just before 1 a.m. Monday.

The news release said the incident began when a Spanish Fork police officer identified a car wanted for fleeing from police in American Fork Sunday afternoon.

“That officer drove round the block and when he returned the suspect car was gone,” the news release said. “Several Spanish Fork officers and several deputies with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office searched the area for the suspect car.”

At about 12:50 a.m., a deputy found the suspect car again. Together officers and deputies attempted to keep the driver from moving, but the suspect fled.

“As the suspect drove away he ran over the foot of a deputy,” the news release goes on. “The car also hit the deputy, causing him to roll onto the hood of the car and into the windshield, shattering the windshield. Another deputy then fired at least one shot at the suspect, hitting him in the shoulder and face.”

Willis was taken by ambulance to Mountain View Hospital in Payson with non-life threatening injuries. Shortly after that he was flown by medical helicopter to Utah Valley Hospital in Provo.

Willis will remain in the custody of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office and will be booked into the Utah County Jail when he is released from the hospital.

The Officer Involved Shooting Protocol Team with the Utah County Attorney’s Office is investigating this incident.

The car Willis was driving was involved in a traffic stop in Lehi Sunday afternoon where a passenger got in the driver’s seat and fled. A short time later an American Fork officer found that car and the driver fled from police there until police terminated the pursuit. The car involved in the incident in Spanish Fork is the same one involved in the incidents in Lehi and American Fork. It is believed that Willis was the driver in those incidents, but that has not yet been confirmed.

Gephardt Daily will update this developing story as more information is made available.

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