Two police officers, rape suspect wounded in West Valley City shootout; infant freed from vehicle before shots fired

EXCLUSIVE: Police in West Valley City exchange gunfire with a robbery and rape suspect at the 7-11 located at 4100 S. Redwood Rd. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, Dec. 2, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Two police officers from different agencies were shot Wednesday night by a rape suspect who refused to get out of his vehicle in a West Valley City 7-Eleven parking lot.

Police returned fire and the suspect also was transported to the hospital.

“Tonight some of our officers were looking for a suspect in a rape case, as well as a robbery case,” Roxeanne Vainuku, spokesperson for the West Valley City Police Department, told reporters at the scene.

“They located the suspect at the 7-Eleven at 4100 South and Redwood Road. He was inside an SUV with an infant in the vehicle.”

The suspect refused to exit the vehicle and would not release the infant.

“After some negotiation with him, officers finally convinced him to let the infant out of the vehicle, but he still remained inside and would not get out,” Vainuku said.

At some point during the negotiation process, the adult male suspect did get out and fired upon the officers, striking two of them. One was a West Valley City officer and the other was with Unified Police Department.

Officers in the area returned fire, striking the suspect.

Both wounded officers and the suspect were transported to hospitals for medical treatment.

“The Unified officer is in serious condition at this time, and the West Valley City officer is in critical condition at this time,” Vainuku said.

The condition of the suspect is not currently known.

First responders on the scene of a Wednesday night shooting that wounded two police officers, one from West Valley City, the other from Unified Police. A suspected rapist was also wounded in the shooting. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

Vainuku stated that when there is an officer-involved critical incident such as this, the OICI protocol is invoked, and a separate team will conduct the investigation. She said police are working with the district attorney’s office to determine which team will follow up on this case. All officers who witnessed the incident have been “separated out,” and everyone is being debriefed as part of the process, she said.

It’s an “interesting situation” that may take time to sort out because so may officers were on scene, she said. Body camera video will be collected and assessed, as well as other details gathered from the scene.

Vainuku said that, as far as she knows, the infant was not injured.

She said others were in the vehicle with the suspect, but had gotten out and only the suspect and the infant had remained in the vehicle.

The suspect “has a history with police,” and officers were aware that he was armed and dangerous, but late Wednesday night Vainuku had no other information about him or anyone else who had been in the vehicle earlier.

Gephardt Daily will update this developing story as more details become public.

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