Update: More information released after ‘active gunman’ incident on Interstate 15 near Beaver

File photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

BEAVER, Utah, Sept. 14, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — More information has been released after an “active gunman” was reported Monday night by Utah Highway Patrol on Interstate 15 near Beaver.

“Active gunman incident on I-15 with the suspect still at large,” said a Monday evening  tweet from Utah Highway Patrol. “I-15 is closed northbound at Beaver. I-15 southbound is closed at I-70.”

A probable cause statement from the 5th District Court of Beaver said William Jason Brooks, 41, is facing charges of:

  • Six charges of assault against a police officer, a second-degree felony
  • Five charges of possession of a controlled substance schedule I/II, a second-degree felony
  • Two charges of transaction of a firearm by a class I restricted person, a third-degree felony
  • Theft of a firearm or operable vehicle, a second-degree felony
  • Failure to stop or respond at the command of police, a third-degree felony

On Monday evening, a UHP sergeant observed a vehicle speeding north on I-15 near mile marker 117, the statement said. He tracked the vehicle on radar traveling at 100 miles per hour in a marked 80 mph zone. The sergeant turned on his emergency equipment indicating to the driver of the speeding vehicle to stop. Instead, the driver of the vehicle fled north on I-15 at speeds reaching 118 mph.

The fleeing vehicle took the Manderfield exit, failed to stop at the stop sign,
and re-entered I-15 traveling northbound, the statement continued. At mile marker 121, the suspect vehicle began to turn into the median and suddenly stopped. The driver got out of the vehicle and fled on foot, west into the nearby hills. Two passengers, who were seated inside the suspect vehicle, placed their hands outside the windows of the vehicle and surrendered.

“The Sergeant called for containment and multiple officers from several jurisdictions responded,” the statement said. “A K-9 team was deployed and they began tracking the suspect. The K-9 team that deployed consisted of four uniformed police officers and a K-9. While tracking the suspect, the K-9 team reported that the suspect began shooting at them. The K-9 team reported that they could hear the bullets zipping by them and saw bullets impacting the ground near them.”

The K-9 team took cover and called for more resources. Several air assets responded, including two helicopters from the Department of Public Safety. The sun went down and the search continued in the dark, the statement said.

The DPS helicopters, which are equipped with thermal cameras, located the suspect hiding in some brush near where the K-9 team had been shot at. While searching for the suspect, the helicopter pilot reported that the suspect began firing a gun at them.

“SWAT teams were deployed and a mine resistant ambush protected vehicle was used to drive near the hiding suspect,” the statement said. “The suspect was ordered to surrender. Instead, the suspect fled into the surrounding brush and began making his way back toward I-15. The suspect eventually surrendered. The suspect claimed there must have been someone else shooting at the officers because it wasn’t him.”

The suspect was identified as Brooks, who is from Colorado. His criminal history shows he has been convicted of multiple felonies and is a wanted parole fugitive.

A search warrant was requested and granted for the vehicle involved in the pursuit.

“Distributable amounts of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, and MDMA were located in the vehicle along with digital scales and baggies that are commonly used in narcotics sales,” the statement said. “Also in the vehicle, was a Smith and Wesson 9 mm handgun. The handgun was located inside a backpack along with the majority of the drugs. Also inside the backpack was a bus ticket in the name of William Brooks.”

Personal use marijuana and marijuana products were also allegedly located in the vehicle. A plastic container of methamphetamine was located in the glove box. Syringes were located behind the driver’s seat in the cloth pocket that is directly in front of the backseat.

When Brooks was taken into custody, a Glock handgun was recovered. The handgun was reported stolen on Aug. 6 in Castle Rock, Colorado. “There were no more bullets inside the magazine of the handgun,” the statement said. “Also recovered was a black cloth bag, a wallet, and a plastic bag with drug residue inside it. The black bag contained narcotics broken up for individual sale. The black bag had heroin and cocaine inside it along with a THC vape cartridge. The heroin was in 1/10 of a gram baggies and the cocaine was in 1 gram baggies. There was gold jewelry inside the bag as well.”

The wallet contained an identification card and debit cards for Brooks. Two identification cards for individuals who were not Brooks were also located in the wallet, as well as a debit card that belonged to another individual, the statement said.

Brooks is being held without bail.


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