Suspect who allegedly ran over West Jordan smoke shop employee arrested

Kelly Vaughn Burge. Photo Courtesy: Salt Lake County Jail

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, Jan. 6, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A suspect who allegedly ran over a West Jordan smoke shop employee has been arrested.

A probable cause statement from the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake County said Kelly Vaughn Burge, 23, is facing charges of:

  • Aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony
  • Criminal homicide, a second-degree felony
  • Obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony
  • Duty of operator after leaving scene with knowledge of accident, a third-degree felony

On Dec. 21, 2020, officers were dispatched to Smokey’s Discount Cigarettes, at 1597 W. 9000 South in West Jordan, on reports that a man had been struck by a vehicle, the statement said. The suspect vehicle had left the scene.

The victim was transported to Intermountain Medical Center in critical condition.

“Responding officers reviewed the video of the incident and found that an aggravated robbery had occurred,” the statement said. “The surveillance video shows the suspect inside the smoke shop. The suspect exits the store as Zachary follows in chase. Witnesses on scene described that they saw the suspect vehicle run over the victim multiple times.”

Surveillance video was obtained from a nearby business, the statement said. That video shows that a red or maroon colored vehicle believed to be a Buick Verano runs over the victim multiple times.

Officials issued a press release regarding the case, which contained a photo of the suspect as he fled the store. Tips were received regarding the identity of the suspect.

“Detectives made phone contact with the complainant of the first tip,” the statement said. “That complainant told detectives that he saw the press release on the news and believed it to be his friend, Kelly Vaughn Burge. That complainant had spoken with Kelly about what had happened. Kelly told the complainant what had happened at the smoke shop.”

The complainant said Burge had described in detail what had occurred. Burge allegedly told the complainant he had gone into the smoke shop, taken vape items and fled from the store. He allegedly told the complainant that after he fled from inside store, he got in the vehicle and ran over the victim multiple times.

A second complainant stated she knew who the suspect was because of a connection with Burge’s wife. The second complainant provided surveillance video from the same day of the incident. That video shows Burge at a business, wearing the same clothing and driving a vehicle that matches the suspect vehicle. The second complainant stated the surveillance video was taken before the robbery.

On Dec. 25, police apprehended Burge when he allegedly was involved in a robbery in West Valley City. When he was arrested, he was in a red or maroon Buick Verano.

A photo lineup containing Burge was shown to the victim. He stated that the photo containing Burge resembled the suspect.

Burge was interviewed at Salt Lake County Jail; after being read his Miranda rights, he reportedly admitted to entering the smoke shop and taking items. He also allegedly admitted to running over the victim.

The suspect is being held without bail.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here