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Preliminary report: Millard deputy who fatally shot suspect feared for his life

Published October 18, 2012 10:52 am

Crime • Millard officer fired as he and suspected car thief tumbled to ground.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

Preliminary findings of an outside investigation seem to support an Millard County sheriff's deputy's claims that he was in fear for his life when he shot and killed a man suspected of car theft.

A final report on the Monday night shooting of Corey Kanosh, 35, of Fillmore, still awaits toxicology and other medical examiner's test results, but a Utah County investigator — reviewing the incident on behalf of Millard County — said Thursday he had wrapped up interviews in the case.

"There was a struggle, the deputy felt like his life was in danger and that's why he said he shot the suspect," said Utah County Sheriff's Lt. Shawn Chipman. "It appears he [the deputy] was going to the ground with the suspect on top of him when he fired."

While the deputy sustained scrapes and bruises, including some to his neck, it was a bite on an arm from a police dog that arrived on the scene as the incident ended that sent the deputy to the hospital for treatment, Chipman said.

"The canine arrived after the shooting," Chipman said. "The [canine] officer put dog on the suspect and went to check on deputy who was on the ground, and the canine took that as, 'My handler is in a fight with this guy' and then bit deputy."

Chipman said the struggle happened outside of the view of any dashboard cameras.

Kanosh's mother had called 911 Monday evening to report her son was intoxicated and had stolen her car from the Kanosh Paiute Indian Reservation. A short time later, the deputy spotted the vehicle and attempted to pull it over, but the suspects sped away and a pursuit began both on paved and unpaved roads, with the suspect vehicle eventually stopping in the foothills east of the town of Kanosh.

The two occupants — Kanosh, and 21-year-old Dana Harnes, of Millard County — began to run. The deputy used a Taser to shock Kanosh, and while the deputy attempted to take him into custody a fight ensued, according to the Millard County Sheriff's Office.

In June 1999, Kanosh had been arrested in Millard County two weeks after his escape with another inmate from the nearby Sevier County Jail. In October 1999, he was at Utah State Prison; he was parole just under six years later. He was back in prison in April 2009, and released again in March 2010.

Kanosh's sentences included convictions for felony burglary, attempted burglary, attempted child sexual abuse and unlawful weapons possession, as well as misdemeanor convictions for drug and unlawful alcohol possession.

Harnes, who initially eluded law officers before being arrested Tuesday morning, remained in Millard County Jail Thursday in lieu of $50,000 cash-only bail. He was booked on suspicion of having received or possessed stolen property, failure to stop at the command of a law officer, and driving on an expired driver's license.

Harnes is to make an initial appearance in Fourth District Court in Filllmore on Monday morning.

The deputy involved in the shooting remained on leave pending conclusion of the investigation.

remims@sltrib.com