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W.V. gunman in car fired away until gun jammed, pursuing officer testifies

The gunman who wounded West Valley police detective Robert Idle got off 15 to 18 shots and appeared to be trying to fire more at pursuing officers when his gun jammed.

That was the testimony Wednesday of officer Kory Newbold, who was with Idle when he was shot while trying to stop a couple of suspicious vehicles at 3500 S. 7500 West on Aug. 15.Newbold described the events of that night during a preliminary hearing for Jason J. Evans, 20, who is charged with two first-degree felony counts of attempted aggravated homicide of a police officer.

Alepino Lavaka, 20, who was charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the incident, waived his preliminary hearing.

Newbold said Idle showed up after he had radioed for assistance while attempting to stop two vehicles shortly after 11 p.m. on Aug. 15. As Idle got out of his unmarked police car, someone inside the first vehicle fired about five "very quick" rounds, Newbold said.

The officer said Idle had his handgun out and was returning fire. Though he had been hit, Idle continued to fire as he was falling backward, Newbold said. The gunfire from the vehicle also continued as it sped off.

Newbold said he notified dispatchers that an officer was down and then pursued the fleeing car west to about 8000 West, where it came to a stop. Seeing a rifle aimed at him through the window of the car 25 yards away, Newbold said he got down on his seat "and expected to be shot or shot at."

When that didn't happen, he peeked over the dashboard and saw that the driver of the car was "working the action" of the rifle, which appeared to have jammed. The rifle then disappeared back into the car, and the vehicle sped away again.

The chase ended at 5600 W. 2400 South after the fleeing car hit a curb and got a flat tire. Newbold identified Evans as the driver who emerged from the car when its occupants were ordered out.

Idle is recovering from gunshot wounds to his abdomen, wrist and arm.

A judge was expected to decide late Wednesday whether enough evidence exists to order a trial for Evans.