Suspect in 'body armor' trades fire with officers, chase, shots on I-15
(KUTV) - Arturo Ray Gallemore-Jimenez is accused of shooting at officers in Utah County, leading them on a slow speed chase, firing his gun and hitting one person on I-15, before finally crashing into a fence in Orem where he was taken to a hospital for bullet wounds.
Late Wednesday night, the Utah County Sheriff's Office identified the 37-year-old man, who was listed in stable condition. Utah County Sheriff Sgt. Spencer Cannon said he wore "body armor."
Cannon said the ordeal began at a Nephi gas station, where the suspect had asked people for money, and apparently locked his keys in his truck. He's accused of firing his first shot into his own vehicle.
Police were notified, and an 'attempt to locate' call went out on the truck, which was next spotted in Springville.
"The suspect fired shots at the deputies and officers who were on the scene there," Cannon said. "Deputies and officers returned fire at the suspect."
Then, with at least one flat tire, Gallemore-Jimenez is accused of the leading deputies on a slow speed chase on I-15, again firing his gun along the way.
Cannon said a man in his 20s was hit in the shoulder and was also transported to a hospital. He was reported in stable condition.
One more car on the freeway was shot at, said Cannon, driven by a father with his four-year-old child inside. Neither were hit.
At the scene where it ended, the truck had bullet holes clearly visible in the windshield.
A Nevada man told 2News Gallemore-Jimenez called him while the chase was happening.
Michael Barbeau said he's a good friend of the suspect, who left a message saying, 'I'm being followed by the full Salt Lake Police Department, and I don't know why they're chasing me. I'm going to die tonight. Tell my kids that I love them.'
Barbeau said Gallemore-Jimenez was "freaking out" during the call.
"I never heard him crying before," Barbeau said.
Barbeau tried calling Gallemore-Jimenez back, but there was no answer.
The day before, Barbeau said he spoke to his friend, who had left Kansas and was on his way west after a difficult divorce, hard times and drug use.
Barbeau said he offered him a place to stay and assistance with getting "into rehab."
But the cross-country trip would end in Utah, not Nevada, and instead of drug rehab, Gallemore-Jimenez would head to a hospital, likely followed by a jail cell.
Barbeau said Gallemore-Jimenez told him he had a bullet-proof vest, that "he always had things like that," and guns - but he said his friend never made threats nor was he violent.