UPDATED: Suspect taken into custody following large-scale police response, closure of I-15

File photo of Utah Highway Patrol vehicle, Jan. 22, 2020 | Photo by Chris Reed, St. George News

ST. GEORGEThe Utah Highway Patrol reported an active gunman incident on Interstate 15 around 7:45 p.m. Monday evening; however, early Tuesday morning UHP reported that the suspect has been taken into custody.

Additionally, according to the Utah Department of Transportation website, all lanes of traffic on northbound and southbound Interstate 15 have been reopened.

At 6 a.m. Tuesday, UHP released more details on the incident, stating that a sergeant originally attempted to stop a vehicle traveling north at 5:13 p.m. near milepost 117 for traveling 100 mph in an 80 mph zone. When the vehicle didn’t stop, a pursuit was initiated.

As the pursuit approached milepost 122, the vehicle pulled into the median and stopped, at which point the driver reportedly fled on foot, crossing the southbound lanes and running into the foothills west of I-15. The vehicle was occupied by two additional passengers, the report states, adding that the sergeant remained with the vehicle and took the two passengers into custody with the help of a Beaver County Deputy.

Additional troopers, deputies and officers from local agencies responded and began establishing containment for the suspect. Investigators gathered information about the suspect, including interviewing the two suspects who were in custody. Once initial containment was set, two canine teams were deployed with a helicopter overhead.

As the canine teams worked the area, the suspect began firing rounds from a handgun at the canine teams and the helicopter from a concealed and undetermined location, the report states. The canine teams pulled out of the area, containment was fortified and tactical teams were called in to assist, along with the Department of Public Safety Aero Bureau.

Tactical Teams from DPS, Beaver County, Iron County and St. George responded. As these additional resourced were being deployed, the suspect reportedly fired several more rounds.  The DPS flight crew was able to quickly pinpoint the suspect’s location, and the tactical teams put a plan in motion to apprehend him.

Tactical teams made contact with the suspect and began challenging him. The suspect surrendered without further incident and was safely taken into custody.

“This event was a great demonstration of good multi-agency coordination to end a bad situation with the best possible outcome,” the press release stated, adding that no officers or suspects were injured.

St. George News was originally notified of the incident Monday by UHP via a press release that stated troopers attempting to stop a vehicle on I-15 led to a pursuit, followed by the driver of the vehicle fleeing on foot near milepost 120. 

Shots were fired at pursuing officers, but no injuries have been reported, the release stated, adding that the suspect was still at large at that point. (See Ed. note)

Previously, the Utah Department of Transportation had warned of a police incident near mile marker 122. As of 8:09 p.m., both lanes of I-15 were closed, with northbound traffic stopped at Exit 112 in Beaver and southbound travel stopped at I-70 near Cove Fort.

UDOT also closed westbound access from I-70 to southbound I-15, with an estimated clearance time of 11:59 p.m.

This is a developing story.

Updated Sept. 14, 6 a.m. to include capture of suspect and reopening of I-15.

This report is based on information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Ed. Note: A previous version of this story said that shots were exchanged. The article has been updated to state that shots were fired at pursuing officers.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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