Springville, UT – A Springville police officer was shot on Sunday morning after he stopped to check on the occupants of a vehicle that had been involved in a crash.
The series of events leading up to the shooting began at 4:57 a.m. on March 19, when the Springville Police Department (SPD) received a report of shots fired in the area of the 1500-block of West 150 North, the department said in a press release later that day.
The caller said they did not see anyone shooting, but that they heard “eight to ten rapid shots” they believed to be “semi-auto rapid fire,” according to the SPD.
Several other callers contacted the SPD with the similar information, KTVX reported.
Police responded to the area and began searching for the source of the gunfire, according to the press release.
Approximately one hour into the search, an officer came upon a motor vehicle crash in the area of 1200 West 1000 South.
When he got out of his patrol car to check on the driver and potential occupants, a male gunman began shooting at him, according to the SPD.
“As the officer gets out of his vehicle, the driver or individual in the car, he just starts shooting at the officer,” SPD Lieutenant Warren Foster told KTVX.
The officer and a second officer returned fire as members of the Mapleton Police Department (MPD), Spanish Fork Police Department (SFPD) and the Utah County Sheriff’s Office (UCSO) rushed to the scene, according to the SPD.
One SPD officer was shot in the leg during the exchange of gunfire.
The suspect was also hit during the shootout.
Police said they saw the wounded gunman fall to the ground, at which point they approached him and observed he was not moving.
They secured him and immediately began rendering medical aid until emergency medical personnel arrived, the SPD said.
The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.
The wounded officer was rushed to the hospital by ambulance.
Doctors determined his injury was not life-threatening and he is expected to recover.
Lt. Foster said there was “quite an exchange of gunfire” between the suspect and the two officers, KTVX reported.
The officer who was shot during the incident is expected to make a full recovery, and the SPD is hopeful he will not have any “lasting issues” as a result of his injuries, according to the lieutenant.
The identity of the wounded officer was not immediately released, nor was the name of the deceased gunman.
The second officer involved in the shootout was not injured during the melee.
A motive for the shooting is unknown.
“We just never know what we’re going to walk up to,” Lt. Foster told KSTU. “We don’t know what’s going on in people’s minds.”
Investigators said the incident was captured on bodycam, KSL reported.
The Utah County Officer Involved Critical Incident Team is handling the ongoing investigation.