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Family: Woman shot by Lehi officers had history of mental illness

SHARE Family: Woman shot by Lehi officers had history of mental illness
Kelly Wark

Kelly Wark

Provided by the Wark family

PROVO — The woman who shot a Lehi police captain Monday and was fatally shot by backup officers had struggled with mental illness for several years — but had never before been violent, her family said.

"She's had numerous struggles with mental illness, so she's been under a doctor's care, been in in-patient at different times, but she has never harmed anyone," said Kelly Wark's sister, Erin.

Police say Kelly Wark, 34, of Washington, was pulled over by Lehi Police Capt. Harold Terry just before 9 a.m. on 1000 E. Main in Lehi.

A gas station clerk had called 911 to report that Wark, who was trying to purchase gas, appeared impaired, with slurred speech and wobbly balance.

After Terry approached Wark's window and talked for a few seconds, she pulled out a .38 caliber handgun and fired two shots into the left side of his head, above his ear, said Lehi Police Sgt. Darren Paul.

Backup officers who had arrived just minutes after Terry began to fire at Wark who had by then exited her car.

She was fatally shot, and Terry was taken by medical helicopter to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center where he remains in stable condition.

"He's improving; we're encouraged," Paul said. "He's speaking with family. The doctors have kind of kept him sedated but he's able to talk and communicate with family so we're encouraged by that."

The Terry family released a statement Tuesday afternoon, thanking everyone for their thoughts and prayers.

"Harold is a strong man; a great and wonderful husband, father and grandfather," according to the statement from Karen Terry and the couple's children. "Harold is in serious but stable condition and he will have a very long, hard road to recovery. We thank you again for your thoughts and prayers and ask you to continue to pray for Harold."

Wark's family was notified late Monday of her death and have also released a statement about the tragedy.

"We offer our deepest condolences to the family of the officer who was hurt," the statement says. "Kelly was a gentle, kind and loving person."

Kelly Wark graduated with a double major in art and psychology from the Western Washington University and was in Utah to attend the Utah College of Massage Therapy in Lindon.

E-mail: sisraelsen@desnews.com