School teacher fighting for life with multiple gunshot wounds
(KUTV) A new school teacher who was supposed to start classes today in Salt Lake City is fighting for her life after being shot several times.
Jai Hogue, 42, was one of two women shot during a tense and terrifying hostage situation on Saturday in Millcreek at 3300 South, 700 East.
"I ran up to her and she had been shot multiple times. There was blood everywhere," said one witness who did not want to be identified. "I heard a man yell out get the "F" away or you will be next."
Hogue, who had been a librarian at the Open Classroom Charter School in Salt Lake was starting as a new teacher for the pre-kindergarten classes.
"A sad day," said Jason Olsen, the spokesperson for the Salt Lake City School District.
Olsen says the principal gathered all the teachers for a morning meeting and told them the tragic news.
Counselors came to the school to help.
"They went up to that meeting, helped the faculty and staff and helped the students as well," said Olsen.
According to police, Hogue remains in critical condition at the hospital.
Investigators say she was in the area to be with her friend Jenny Andrus, 42, estranged from her husband and believed to be going to his house to get some things.
Instead, investigators say her estranged husband Valentin Santarromana, 37, shot Hogue and then took Andrus hostage also shooting her at one point.
"This is one of the worst scenarios that you can imagine," said Lt. Lex Bell with the Unified Police Department.
Bell said after hours of negation, officers had no choice but to storm the house.
"Sounded like they heard gun shots in the home, which forced their hand. They had to move in and try and rescue the wife," said Bell. "They went into the gunfire, went downstairs and rescued the female."
One neighbor, who didn't want to be identified, said she can't understand why the husband snapped.
"The whole thing just makes me sick," she said. "Val was always a really nice guy. He was friendly. He always worked hard in his yard and in his house. He always played with his children."
Bell said police went to the house for the first time on Aug. 15 on a suicide call. He said they checked the husband into the hospital and they also searched the home for weapons and found none.
Bell says Andrus is showing signs of improvements. She is now in stable condition and talking to investigators. Santarromana is currently at the Salt Lake County jail where he faces attempted murder charges.
Hogue's family released the following statement to 2News.
"Our family and friends are concentrating all of our efforts on helping the victims and their families. The tragic events that happened Saturday have been heartbreaking and the families need their privacy so that we can begin the healing process."