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UPD hunting for fugitive possibly wounded by officer

Published May 20, 2012 11:30 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Police on Saturday were investigating an officer-involved shooting in Kearns and trying to find a fugitive who fled the scene, possibly wounded.

Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said that about 2:50 a.m. officers observed a 1990 Lincoln Town Car near 5400 S. 4015 West. Police said the car was driven by a man matching the description of John Jesse Samora, 21, who has been known to carry weapons.

Officers said Samora tried to evade them by pulling into a parking lot about 4100 W. 5400 South and stopping. As officers approached he allegedly pulled out of the parking space and tried to hit the officers with his car. An officer fired a shot at Samora, who then drove away.

Taylorsville police then spotted the vehicle, but Samora led them on a high-speed chase north on Bangerter Highway to Utah 201. The chase continued east on 201 when the driver exited on Redwood Road. The chase then continued into Salt Lake City where it was terminated over public safety concerns, since Samora allegedly was running red lights at 70 mph, police said.

Hoyal said the search for Samora continued late Saturday morning, with police checking local hospitals in case he had been wounded and sought treatment.

Meanwhile, the officer believed to have fired at Samora — and who himself suffered minor injuries due to broken glass during the confrontation — was placed on standard paid administrative leave pending the investigation.

An investigation into the shooting was being conducted Saturday by UPD and the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office.

Hoyal said Samora was wanted on a parole violation. He's believed to be armed and he has made threats against law enforcement, he said. Hoyal said people should not approach Samora if they see him.

Samora was last seen driving the gray 1990 Lincoln Town Car with Utah plate C892JE.

Anyone with information on Samora is asked to call police at 801-743-7000.

jstecklein@sltrib.com

Twitter @sltribjanelle