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22-year-old man killed by police after shooting at officers pursuing another man

Unified police were attempting to arrest a man wanted in several felonies when a passenger in his car fired at them, police said

A 22-year-old man was shot by police near the intersection at 7200 South and Bingham Junction Boulevard on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.
A 22-year-old man was shot by police near the intersection at 7200 South and Bingham Junction Boulevard on Friday, Sept. 18, 2020.
John Wilson, Deseret News

MIDVALE — A 22-year-old man is dead after exchanging gunfire with police as they attempted to arrest another man wanted in multiple felony cases.

Officers from both Unified and West Valley police departments were searching for Joseph Schultz, 24, of West Valley City, who they’ve been trying to arrest for “quite some time” in connection with “robberies, as well as drive-by shootings” in multiple jurisdictions, according to Unified Police Sgt. Melody Cutler, when they spotted his SUV at a Motel 6 in Midvale, 7263 Catalpa St.

“They spiked the car,” Cutler said, referring to flattening the car’s tires, because Schultz had “fled from the police numerous times.” Even with flat tires, Schultz tried to drive away from officers, with a woman and a 22-year-old passenger in the car with him, Cutler said.

“The car continued to flee from them, running over the sidewalks, through barrels through this construction zone, where it came to rest here in this intersection,” Cutler said, motioning to the intersection at 7200 South and Bingham Junction Boulevard. “The driver and a female passenger got out of the car and ran ... southbound from here.”

The 22-year-old passenger also jumped out of the disabled vehicle, which sat in the westbound lanes of 7000 South hours after the incident. He ran east on the sidewalk with officers chasing him on foot.

“(He) then produced a handgun and fired a round at officers,” Cutler said. “Officers then returned fire.”

The 22-year-old was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. His name was not released Friday.

Schultz and the female passenger were arrested a short distance from the intersection where they’d abandoned the SUV. Later Friday, police reported taking a fourth person from the car into custody.

“We have been looking for him for quite some time,” Cutler said of Schultz. “We had a pursuit with him yesterday. So it’s been an ongoing search for this individual.”

Cutler wasn’t sure how many officers fired at the 22-year-old, or which jurisdictions they worked for, but she said there were “numerous witnesses” as the incident unfolded in a busy section of Midvale with offices, dozens of retail businesses and restaurants.

The incident was turned over to Salt Lake police’s Protocol Team One, the same agency that is investigating Thursday’s officer-involved shooting in Holladay, which injured 49-year-old Eric Pectol, of Layton. Cutler said Protocol Team One was assigned to investigate Friday night’s incident because officers from both West Valley and Unified police were involved.

It is the second officer-involved shooting for Unified police in two days, and the third in the state in four days. Cutler said two officers have been placed on administrative leave while Thursday’s shooting is being investigated. Pectol was wanted by law enforcement for parole violations.