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HERRIMAN, Utah, Jan. 23, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Police descended on a Herriman neighborhood Tuesday afternoon, hoping to capture a suspect wanted after officers say he exchanged gunfire with police and shot an area resident on Saturday.
The search failed to yield suspect Justin Gary Llewelyn, 33, of Riverton, but three people were taken into custody for questioning by the Salt Lake City Police Department.
Arrested for obstruction of justice were Tasha and Misty Llewelyn, SLCPD said in a later post on Twitter.
It was reported that the third person was questioned and released.
A monetary reward is available for information resulting in Justin Llewelyn’s arrest, SLCPD said, but the amount of the reward is not being disclosed at this time.
Detective Greg Wilking, SLCPD, said anyone found to have harbored Llewelyn is likely to face charges.
Residents have been concerned that Llewelyn may still be in the area and seeking shelter to evade police. Officials want to reassure people that every precaution is being taken to protect the public.
On Tuesday evening, the Unified Police Department said inaccurate information regarding this case is being shared on social media.
UPD tweeted: “Be advised, inaccurate information is being shared within social media concerning the Riverton/Herriman shooter. There are no specific threats to the citizens of these communities. If there is a threat of this nature, we will communicate with our community leaders immediately.”
Earlier Tuesday, three Jordan School District schools — Fort Herriman Middle School, Black Ridge Elementary and Foothill Elementary — were put on precautionary lockdown before police began their search for suspects. Students were released on their usual schedule, Wilking said.
“Hopefully, we will have a good resolution real soon,” Wilking said, referring to Llewelyn’s fugitive status.
“Family members and friends (of Llewelyn) need to help out with this operation so it can be peacefully resolved,” he said, adding that anyone who helps the suspect evade capture “risks charges.”
Sheriff Rosie Rivera told Gephardt Daily on Saturday that the incident began around 6 a.m. Saturday when an off-duty police sergeant noticed a “suspicious person” outside the Monarch Meadow Apartments in Riverton at 13469 S. Dragonfly Lane.
Rivera said the sergeant attempted to engage Llewelyn, when he suddenly pulled a handgun and began firing.
Llewelyn then ran into the neighborhood where he was engaged by a second officer. The two exchanged gunfire before Llewelyn fled, jumping a fence as he escaped into the darkness.
Minutes later, Llewelyn forced his way into a home at 4949 W. Duncan Meadow Lane, where he shot a man in the chest and then stole the family’s car. Police say the wounded man was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, although his condition was later upgraded. As of Monday morning, the man is listed in good condition and is recovering.
While driving away, police say Llewelyn slammed into a pickup truck parked outside the home, knocking it into a fence. Undeterred, he headed to Herriman and abandoned the car at the intersection of South Ashland Ridge Drive and West Woodsmere Lane.
From there, Llewelyn seemed to vanish, prompting police to set up a massive containment area — from Mountain View Corridor to Rose Crest Road and from 13400 South to the area surrounding Blackridge Reservoir.
Police used reverse 911 calls to warn residents within a 4-mile radius to keep their doors locked and stay inside their homes. They were also asked to report any suspicious activity.
By mid-afternoon, police had entered a number of homes searching for the suspect, described then by police as a male wearing dark clothing with dark facial hair.
In the months prior to this incident, Llewelyn had been living with family near the Riverton/Herriman border.
Police are asking anyone living in the area with surveillance cameras to review their footage starting at 6 a.m.
Officials said Llewelyn is armed and considered extremely dangerous; anyone that encounters him should use extreme caution and call 911.
Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Llewelyn is asked to call the UPD on 801-743-7000 or Salt Lake City Police at 801-799-3000.