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One injured in possible officer-involved shooting in Millard County

Police respond to a scene near Scipio in Millard County after a man was injured in an encounter with a Millard County Sheriff’s deputy on Thursday, May 21, 2020. Police would not confirm Thursday whether the victim’s injury was caused by a gunshot or if the deputy fired his weapon.
Police respond to a scene in Millard County after a man was injured in an encounter with a Millard County Sheriff’s deputy on Thursday, May 21, 2020. Police would not confirm Thursday whether the victim’s injury was caused by a gunshot or if the deputy fired his weapon.
Meghan Thackrey, Deseret News

SCIPIO, Millard County — One man was injured and a Millard County Sheriff’s deputy is on administrative leave pending an investigation into a possible officer-involved shooting.

But police would not confirm Thursday whether the victim’s injury was caused by a gunshot or if the deputy even fired his weapon.

The odd scenario started about 10 a.m. in a residential area near Scipio. Residents reported a suspicious vehicle with Colorado license plates that they did not recognize had been parked for nearly three hours, said Millard County Sheriff Richard Jacobson.

A deputy spotted the vehicle about 10:30 a.m. at a nearby gas station. By 10:40 a.m. he told dispatchers that he was in pursuit, Jacobson said.

The chase went south on I-15 and reached speeds of more than 100 mph, he said. A short time later, near the town of Holden, the man, who was driving a Nissan Frontier, went into a stretch of median that is thick with trees, the sheriff said.

The fleeing vehicle came to stop in the grove. A short time later, the deputy told dispatchers that the driver may have been shot, Jacobson said. The deputy and Utah Highway Patrol troopers who arrived shortly after treated the man, who was able to communicate with officers, for an injury consistent with a gunshot wound, he said.

The sheriff did not say what part of the man’s body was injured. The man was taken by medical helicopter to a nearby hospital for treatment.

Whether the man was shot by the deputy, or whether the deputy even had his gun drawn while confronting the suspect, were questions that the State Bureau of Investigation will look into as part of their independent review, Jacobson said.

“We’re waiting, just as your are, for some clarifications that will come out of the SBI investigation,” he said.

UHP Lt. Nick Street concurred that some portions of the case would remain a mystery until the deputy is interviewed.

“We know there was gunfire at some point. Where that occurred, and how that occurred and who it occurred by, (SBI is) putting those things together,” he said.

The suspect’s name was not immediately released. Street could not say if another weapon was found at the scene or if anything of evidentiary value was found in the suspect’s vehicle.