Suspect arrested after chase across multiple Utah counties

E'an Pernell Hendrix. Photo Courtesy: Salt Lake County

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, July 6, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A suspect has been arrested after a chase across multiple Utah counties on July 4 during which he also allegedly set a fire, stole a vehicle and fired shots at civilians.

A probable cause statement from the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake County said E’an Pernell Hendrix, 32, is facing charges of:

  • Possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a second-degree felony
  • Theft of a firearm or operable vehicle, a second-degree felony
  • Arson, a second-degree felony
  • Failure to respond to officer’s signal to stop, a third-degree felony
  • Two counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony
  • Two counts of criminal mischief, a class A misdemeanor
  • Possession of a controlled substance, a class B misdemeanor
  • Threat of violence, a class B misdemeanor
  • Failure to remain at scene of accident, a class B misdemeanor

Officials were called on a report of an ambulance being shot at on Interstate 15 in Utah County, the statement said. Troopers in Wasatch County located a vehicle that matched the suspect description. The suspect then fled from Utah Highway Patrol troopers in Wasatch County when emergency lights were activated. The trooper terminated the pursuit in a construction zone due to safety concerns. The suspect was later witnessed in Morgan County related to a shots fired and arson incident.

Morgan County deputies were dispatched to a grass fire in a property owned by East Canyon Resort, the statement said.

“While en route I was told there was an individual on scene who had fired gunshots and that he was the one who started the fire,” the arresting officer in Morgan County wrote. “It was believed that individual was the same individual who had been fleeing and committed several other crimes in other counties in the state. I arrived on scene and met with the numerous witness on scene.”

It was reported that the suspect drove up to a gated private camping area and was let in by someone who he made think he belonged there, the statement said. Once inside the area the suspect allegedly rammed a gate housing recreational vehicles, damaging the gate and gaining entry to the vehicles.

“The suspect then took a side-by-side and rolled it not to far from where he took it,” the arresting officer wrote. “A piece of metal was found inside the key hole of the vehicle and a multi-tool with a broken blade was found in the immediate area. It is believed the suspect used the multi-tool to start the vehicle. After crashing the stolen side-by-side, witnesses stated he lit off Roman candles or flares that started the fire I was originally dispatched to.”

After the fire was started, witnesses stated the suspect returned to his original vehicle and drove down another road inside the private area. When the suspect tried to get back to the main road, a citizen blocked the vehicle in with his vehicle, the statement said. The citizen reported the suspect pointed a gun at him, telling him to move, and firing a shot in the air. The citizen reported he told the suspect he would move, the suspect fired another shot, and the citizen moved out of the way. Two brass casings were found in the area where the incident was reported to have happened.

“Witnesses stated the suspect then went to the main gate where he entered,” the statement said. “Witnesses stated cars tried to stop him and the gate was closed and locked in an effort to keep him in. Witnesses reported the suspect pointed the gun at them to make them get out of the way and fired anywhere from one to four shots. Only one casing was located in that area.”

After getting the citizens to move, it was reported the suspect said he would kill anyone who tried to stop him and rammed the gate, breaking it open. The suspect was reported to have left northbound on U.S. Highway 65.

A citizen took a picture of the suspect pointing a gun at them sometime during this incident, the arresting officer wrote. The picture was sent to Weber Dispatch, who reported the suspect was identified as Hendrix. The Fire Chief stated that the fire caused more than $5,000 in damages and expenses to put it out. It was discovered the suspect was wanted by several different agencies throughout the state for multiple incidents that occurred that day.

“A manhunt was conducted with multiple agencies and a helicopter,” the statement said. “The subject was not located and eluded capture. The suspect was later found by Salt Lake County troopers under a bridge on the 900 South southbound on ramp to I-15. The suspect was carrying/concealing a firearm and a bag of green leafy substance next to him on the ground. I arrived on scene and located the firearm and bag of green leafy substance.”

The suspect later admitted in an interview to fleeing from the trooper. Hendrix was determined a Category 1 restricted person, based on previous felony charges and criminal history. The green leafy substance field-tested positive for marijuana.

Hendrix has current pending charges out of Summit County for aggravated assault, domestic violence and theft of a county vehicle.

He was transported to Salt Lake County Jail with his bail set at $52,500.


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