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UTAHNS PRAISED FOR SUPPORT OF WOUNDED TROOPER

Idaho State Police Superintendent Ron Moore has praised Utahns for their support for the family of wounded ISP Trooper Steve Hobbs, who was shot four times early Sunday near the Utah-Idaho border.

Moore said he was "genuinely impressed with the Utah people who have bent over backwards to assist the (Hobbs) family. . . . It goes a long way to show there are a lot of good people in the world."Hobbs was shot while making a traffic stop on I-84 just north of the border.

Shawn Kerrigan, 23, Milwaukee, was arrested and charged with 13 felonies, including aggravated battery, aggravated assault and possession of stolen property.

The wounded trooper tried to pursue his assailant but, weakened by a loss of blood, he could not maintain control of his patrol car and it wandered into the median. Heat from the catalytic converter started weeds on fire and flames soon engulfed the car.

Hobbs was pulled from his car by passers-by and passing emergency medical technicians gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation during a hurried drive to Snowville, Utah. From there, Hobbs was flown to McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, where he remains in serious but stable condition.

The trooper was unconscious when the ISP superintendent visited the hospital Monday evening and Tuesday. But Moore later received reports Hobbs was gaining consciousness and recognized family members.

Mrs. Hobbs and one of the couple's seven children - ages 6 through 16 - were at the hospital. The other children were home in Declo, Idaho.

Mrs. Hobbs is "doing relatively well, considering the circumstances," Moore said. "She's certainly depressed and rightfully so, but she's handling the situation very well."

The Utah Highway Patrol Association, an organization of troopers, flew Mrs. Hobbs and her daughter home Tuesday afternoon so the she could collect fresh clothing and "take care of basic business," said UHP spokesman Gary Whitney. She was later flown back to Ogden to be with her husband.

Other law-enforcement groups have raised money for the family, Moore said, and Weber State University provided lodging in Ogden for Mrs. Hobbs.

The ISP chief was especially touched by the offers of help from private citizens.

"One anonymous citizen gave me an envelope for (the Hobbs) with several $100 bills in it."