Ramon Franco, 31, and Celene Hernandez, 19 were shot and injured Thursday morning near the Taylorsville-Redwood Campus during a shootout with the police.
The police had been looking for a suspect in an armed robbery that occurred late on Friday July 11 at the West Valley Kmart store located at 1770 West and 4100 South, when officers spotted a car that matched the description of the getaway vehicle at 1100 West and 900 South.
After an attempt by police to pull the vehicle over, the suspects refused to stop, resulting in a high speed chase that lasted several minutes and went through multiple cities. Police used tire spikes to take out two of the vehicle’s tires near 3200 West and 4700 South in Taylorsville. At this point, there were close to 70 police officers involved in the chase.
After the tires were spiked, Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal says that the suspects continued driving on at least two rims.
Suspects fired shots which hit a police car and a nearby apartment building
The chase continued through a residential neighborhood, and ended in a cul-de-sac located at 1780 West and 4620 South near Salt Lake Community College’s Taylorsville-Redwood Campus, where the suspects took off on foot after firing on officers at the scene.
Franco was shot, but the woman escaped through a gap in the chain link fence dividing the residential neighborhood from the campus. Officers sent K-9s through the fence after Hernandez, where she was quickly apprehended and taken into custody while attempting to hide on SLCC property.
Shots fired by the suspects hit a nearby apartment window and the door of one officer’s patrol car, but no officers were harmed, Hoyal says.
Jackie Brooks was playing cards with neighbors when shots were fired outside her window.
“We hit the ground and just waited for it to be over,” says Brooks to news reporters after the shootout was over.
After the shooting, Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder says that the man was critically injured and the woman was in serious condition, but officers are still unsure if Hernandez was shot by officers on the scene or if her injury was self inflicted.
“We’re just fortunate there wasn’t any other injuries. These suspects were hell-bent for leather as they continued on their way,” Winder says to news reporters on the scene Thursday.