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Woods Cross officer feared ‘imminent danger,’ shoots at vehicle; 2 men arrested

A Woods Cross police vehicle is pictured on Thursday Oct 8, 2020.
A Woods Cross police vehicle is pictured on Thursday Oct 8, 2020.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

WOODS CROSS — Two men were arrested early Sunday after they fled from police following a confrontation in which one officer felt threatened and fired shots at their vehicle.

The officer attempted to talk to the two men in the truck and there was “an exchange,” according to Woods Cross police Chief Chad Soffe.

“Shots were fired by my officer,” Soffe said. A probable cause statement indicates that the officer “felt that his life was in imminent danger” when he shot at the truck.

The truck sped off, reaching up to 90 mph, and police pursued it on Legacy Highway until the truck crashed into a chain-link fence in West Valley City. At one point, a pursuing police cruiser hit the truck when its driver slammed on the brakes, according to a probable cause statement.

Both suspects in the truck, 28-year-old Tucker Riggs and 26-year-old Julian Nordahl, were arrested and booked at the Davis County Jail on investigation of multiple charges.

Soffe said the truck had been reported stolen out of Salt Lake City and a loaded handgun was found inside.

Both Riggs and Nordahl are being investigated for theft, failure to stop and unlawful possession of burglary tools, and attempted murder of the police officer resulting from Sunday’s incident.

Nordahl, the alleged driver of the vehicle, may face additional charges, including drug possession and reckless driving. A jail booking statement indicates Nordahl, who was wanted on similar charges stemming from a March 2020 incident, also had “several knives on his person” at the time of his arrest.

A search of Utah court records reveals that Riggs was charged with felony vehicle theft in September.

Sunday’s incident, during which no one was injured, remains under investigation.