PROVO, Utah, Feb. 26, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Provo Police Department on Friday provided an update on the condition of Officer Oseguera, who was hit by at least two bullets Thursday in what PPD Chief Rich Ferguson described as a “gun battle” with a suspect, who also was hit.
“Officer Oseguera was alert and in good spirits,” says the PPD tweet, issued at 5:15 p.m. Friday.
“His recovery will take time. Again, we want to thank all of the officers who came to assist yesterday. We truly appreciate all the support from our amazing community!”
The department has not yet released the name of the suspect, or his condition, other than to say he was able to walk away from the scene.
On Thursday, PPD Sgt. Nisha King told reporters at the scene that at 12:51 p.m., officers were deployed to the the area of 900 East and 80 South in reference to a man who was behaving suspiciously, and who reportedly had a gun.
“There was a confrontation, and gunshots were exchanged,” King said. “The officer sustained gunshot wounds, as well as the suspect.”
Later Thursday afternoon, Provo police held a press conference to release more details.
Chief Ferguson addressed reporters first.
“When they arrived at the residence where the male was at, they encountered the male, who retreated inside of his home, was in possession of at least two semi-automatic weapons, he began shooting at our officers,” he said.
“Our officers returned fire, and in the middle of the gun battle, Officer John Oseguera, a two-year veteran of the Provo Police Department, was struck at least twice in his lower extremities. The suspect was also shot and taken to the hospital.”
The Utah County officer-involved critical incident team is in charge of the investigation, Ferguson said, and more details will be released as facts become known. At this time, two officers are on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation.
“At this time, I’d just like to thank (them for) the support we’ve received from our neighboring agencies, our city, our mayor, and I would like to express my absolute appreciation and admiration for every man and woman who puts on the uniform to defend the city each day,” Ferguson said.
He added that officers were with Oseguera’s wife, who he said is in shock, and Oseguera was able to call her to tell her he loved her on his way to the hospital.
“This is not something that any of us would want to happen,” Ferguson added. “(The officers’) training kicked in, they performed exceptionally and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi spoke next.
“Our city and community are still hurting from the loss of Officer Joseph Shinners, so this tragedy hits especially deep,” Kaufusi said. “My heart goes out to Officer John Oseguera and his family, his two small daughters. My thoughts are with the statewide brotherhood and sisterhood of the police force, knowing they are no doubt in low spirits right now.”
Kaufusi also thanked Provo officers.
“They swiftly contained the scene to make sure there was no further danger to the public. Then, went back to work, keeping our city safe, in the midst of their own grief. We are well served by our police department. I am proud of their actions today and every day.”