SPANISH FORK — The man suspected of shooting and killing a Utah police officer last night had a history of violence and a warrant out for his arrest, police said.
Jose Angel Garcia Jauregui, 27, served years in prison for attempted homicide in 2007 and, as of a few days ago, had a warrant out for his arrest for parole violation, according to Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy.
This violation encompassed anything from failure to report, dirty drug tests or other criminal offenses, said Utah County Sherriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon.
Utah County Sherriff’s Sgt. Cory Wride encountered Jauregui on the highway near Eagle Mountain yesterday. Jauregui’s pickup truck was pulled over with its emergency flashers on, and Wride stopped to help.
Wride went back to his car after getting the names of the driver and passenger, where he proceeded to look up the names on his computer for at least 20 minutes. The back window of Jauregui’s pickup truck opened and shots were fired, killing Wride in his car, according to police video.
Jauregui was later tracked down by police exiting the freeway in Santaquin. After he failed to stop when police initiated overhead lights, they engaged in a high-speed chase. Seconds later, the same rear window of the pickup slid open and shots were fired, hitting and injuring Utah County Deputy Greg Sherwood in the head.
Sherwood is currently in critical condition, but he is improving, officials said.
Utah Highway Patrol finally apprehended the suspects later in Nephi, where they engaged in another shootout and injured Jauregui. The passenger was a girl under 18 who has yet to be identified, but she was not harmed.
Officials are still investigating whether the shots were fired by Jauregui or the teenager, as the windows of the pickup were heavily tinted, said Tracy. The shots came from a high-caliber handgun, police said.
After the incident, Jauregui was taken to the ICU in extremely critical condition and his prognosis is not good. Update: According to the Associated Press, Jauregui has been pronounced dead.
The teenager is also in custody and requested a lawyer. Tracy said police still aren’t sure how involved she was in the shootings or if she was there willingly.
Police are still trying to figure out Jauregui’s motives. They searched his residence in Draper last night and obtained evidence from the scene, but the investigation is still pending.
Wride’s brother-in-law, Johnny Revill, described Wride as a man who was doing what he loved to do the most, serving people.
“He was just one of those good guys,” he said. “Trying to do the best they can. Trying to serve the public.” Revill called this a “senseless act of violence” and said the family is struggling and asking why it had to happen.
But their outlook is positive.
“As a family, we know and we are comforted that we will see Cory again,” Revill said.
Wride is survived by his wife, five children and eight grandchildren.
The family has set up an account at giveforward.com for donations. The funeral has not yet been arranged.