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Family of man fatally shot by passerby thanks police

Gunman fired after man who had been attacking woman walked ‘aggressively’ toward him, police say

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Jeremy Sorensen

Jeremy Sorensen

Family photo

PROVO — As detectives continue to investigate the death of a Provo man who police say was shot and killed by a neighbor who came upon the scene, the victim's family released a statement Monday saying they appreciate the efforts of investigators.

"We are deeply saddened over our son Jeremy’s death and the circumstances under which it occurred. We appreciate the efforts of those who witnessed the shooting and ran to Jeremy’s assistance until police and emergency vehicles arrived. We also honor their courage in providing evidence during the investigation," Jeremy Sorensen's parents said in a prepared statement given to Provo police to be posted on their Facebook page.

"We appreciate the police officers who responded to the crime scene and the compassion they showed toward our son. We are grateful for the dedication and openness of the Provo Police Department throughout the investigation. We trust and are hopeful that honest and just conclusions will be made by the Utah County Attorney’s Office from the evidence gathered by the police."

Sorensen, 26, was assaulting an 18-year-old female acquaintance on June 3 in the driveway in front of his apartment complex, 260 E. 500 North, according to police.

FILE - A man was shot twice in the chest in a domestic dispute near 500 North 200 East in Provo on Monday night.

FILE - A man was shot twice in the chest in a domestic dispute near 500 North 200 East in Provo on Monday night.

Tad Walch, Deseret News

"It was reported that Jeremy Sorensen … had been stomping on the head" of the woman, according to search warrant affidavits filed in 4th District Court.

Sorensen "was trying to get into the purse" of the woman, according to witnesses, but the woman told him there was nothing in her purse, an affidavit states.

A 22-year-old man pulled up, saw what was happening, and ordered Sorensen to get off of the woman. Adam Taylor, who was Sorensen's "downstairs neighbor," was just arriving home.

"He stopped his vehicle in the street and got out and pulled his concealed carry gun. He held the gun at a low ready position and yelled at the male to stop assaulting the female or he would shoot," police wrote in an affidavit.

"After about 30 seconds and giving several commands to stop punching and kicking the female in the head, the female got away from the male, ran past Adam and the male started coming toward Adam at that time. The male looked at Adam and Adam told him he would shoot. The male continued to walk aggressively toward Adam. Once the male was about 6-10 feet away from Adam, Adam fired two shots in the torso of the male," one of the warrants states.

The woman was in the hospital being treated for "possible head injuries" when the warrants were served. Police noted that she appeared to be "experiencing memory loss and has not been able to give a statement on her current relationship with Jeremy Sorensen."

Provo police later said the woman was treated for a concussion and hip injuries consistent with being repeatedly punched and kicked.

Police say Taylor has been cooperative with investigators.

Friends and family members of Sorensen were shocked by his alleged behavior, describing him as gentle and childlike. Some family members are questioning what Sorensen's mental state was like at the time of the assault.

No arrests have been made in the case. The Utah County Attorney's Office will formally determine whether the shooting was in self-defense.