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Utah police officer killed in shooting; two critically wounded

September 01, 2013|By Matt Pearce
  • Police Chief Bryan Roberts speaks at a news conference, in Draper, Utah, about the fatal shooting Sunday of the city's police officers.
Police Chief Bryan Roberts speaks at a news conference, in Draper, Utah,… (Rick Bowmer / Associated…)

A Salt Lake City-area policeman was shot and killed Sunday and two other people were critically wounded, police said, in an unexplained outbreak of violence that forced residents of a suburban neighborhood to stay in their homes.

Draper City Police Department Chief Bryan Roberts -- appearing with members of Draper's city council and other city officials at a televised news conference -- was visibly shaken as he announced that Sgt. Derrick Johnson had died after being taken to a hospital.

“This is a tragic day for the Draper City Police Department," Roberts said. "We want to reassure residents that we are doing everything we can to keep the residents of Draper safe. However, we do not believe we have any outstanding suspects at this time."

Johnson and the wounded man and woman were found by police officers who responded to a distress call reporting shots fired at 6 a.m. Sunday. It was not clear who had done the shooting or whether the wounded pair were suspects or victims.

Kris Szelag, a local resident and a nurse, told KSL-TV she was awakened by a gunshot around 5:30 a.m. and saw a police officer pulled from his vehicle by emergency personnel who performed CPR. A medical helicopter took the officer away.

KSL published an aerial photo of the crime scene (see tweet below), which shows a crumpled police SUV with smashed windows resting away from a road.

Roberts didn't elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the investigation, which shut down several blocks in the southern Salt Lake City suburb, keeping residents in their homes. A SWAT team was reportedly seen surrounding a local barn.

The police chief also didn't elaborate on his statement saying there were no apparent "outstanding suspects." The unidentified adult man and woman were not explicitly mentioned as suspects in Roberts' brief remarks.

A second news conference scheduled to be held shortly after the first briefing was pushed back until further notice.

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