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Farmington man charged in police car shooting

Published December 14, 2012 1:53 pm

Crime • Motive of shooting remains under investigation.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated.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.

A 22-year-old Davis County man was behind bars Friday, the day after he allegedly riddled a passing police car with bullets.

The unidentified male officer, who allegedly saw the gunman reach for a pistol and ducked just before an estimated eight bullets struck his cruiser, escaped injury. Two slugs reportedly struck an on-board police laptop computer just inches away from the officer.

Zane Todd Openshaw, of Farmington, was nabbed by police in neighboring Clinton, moments after the Sunset police officer came under fire about 5 p.m. Thursday in the area of 2300 North and 700 West. Openshaw reportedly had been hiding in or near a shed not far from where the shooting occurred.

Openshaw was booked into Davis County Jail and was charged in 2nd District Court with attempted criminal homicide, a first-degree felony.

The incident is being investigated jointly by the Clinton police and Davis County Sheriff's Office on behalf of Sunset. Sunset Police Chief Ken Eborn said the officer "was a little shaken up" by the incident, but was otherwise fine. "We're giving him a couple days off to recuperate."

Eborn said investigators still were trying to determine the suspect's motive for the shooting; the officer is a relatively new hire and so was not thought to have made enemies or have had a previous connection with Openshaw.

"Our officer has only been with us since August, fresh out of the academy," Eborn said. "I'm confident the two [the officer and Openshaw] have never crossed paths until yesterday."

Eborn said he understood that Openshaw was "being cooperative" with investigators. "I don't think this was retaliation against this officer per se, but it may have been some sort of retaliation against law enforcement in general."

Openshaw does have a criminal record. In November 2010, he was charged with third-degree felony arson related to a car fire set at Wheeler Farm in Murray. In December 2010, Openshaw pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of class A misdemeanor attempted arson, for which he was sentenced to six months in jail.

remims@sltrib.com