The Utah Highway Patrol trooper who staged a shooting Tuesday in Davis County has resigned and may face criminal charges.

Public Safety Commissioner D. Douglas Bodrero Thursday said Trooper Michael Leitch, 26, was suspended without pay Wednesday night and resigned Thursday morning. UHP will seek to revoke Leitch's police certification to ensure he never worksin law enforcement again, Bodrero said.Davis County sheriff's detectives, who reviewed the shooting incident, will present their findings to the Davis County attorney's office for possible charges, said sheriff's Capt. Bud Cox.

Bodrero called the incident unfortunate and regrettable, adding it's a "staggering blow" to the morale of UHP troopers.

"Law enforcement is a stressful occupation. Police officers are human, too," Bodrero said. "This will upset the public, but it's going to upset law enforcement officers even more."

Leitch, a two-year trooper working out of the UHP's Davis County office, admitted Wednesday night to investigators that he staged the incident early Tuesday morning on I-215 on the Jordan River bridge near the Salt Lake-Davis county line.

Leitch, despondent over what detectives described as a broken romance, bought a .22-caliber automatic rifle and sawed off the barrel and stock. He used the gun to wound himself once in the hand, also putting one of the 12 shots he fired through his pants leg and others into his portable radio and car.

After the shooting, he told investigators that he'd stopped to help a stranded motorist, who opened fire on him. Police agencies throughout Utah and surrounding states were on the lookout for the fictitious vehicle and its two fictitious occupants.

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"Law enforcement agencies around the state and across the nation were concerned and working on it, on the assumption that if this suspect would open up (fire) on an armed officer, what would he do to unarmed civilians?" Bodrero said.

Detectives on Wednesday afternoon and evening began reviewing Leitch's story, comparing it to the physical evidence at the scene, and determined that some things didn't fit, Cox said.

They questioned Leitch again, and he admitted Wednesday night that he'd staged the incident, Cox said.

Bodrero said Leitch had a good record in his two years with UHP. His evaluations were satisfactory and his supervisors had no problems with him, Bodrero said.

A review of Leitch's UHP application and pre-hiring psychological screening showed nothing unusual, Bodrero said, and nothing that would point to this kind of incident occurring.

"Things are going to happen in people's lives that we simply cannot control," Bodrero said. "We screen our applicants carefully. We are aware of the stresses in police work." He added that the UHP has counselors whom troopers can consult, in confidence, for help in dealing with the stress of their work.