Wyoming man dead after officer-involved shooting in Evanston

By Janelle Stecklein

The Salt Lake Tribune

Published: May 19, 2013 08:46PM
Updated: December 7, 2013 11:32PM
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Evanston Police investigate a crime scene where a man was fatally shot after he allegedly pointed a rifle at police Saturday, May 19. Police said the man had earlier fired a shot in a residential area and another shot at a Sports World store. Courtesy Mike Jensen | Uinta County Herald

An Evanston, Wyo., man died after a brief crime spree around town ended when authorities shot him.

Police said Naim “Keith” Labaki, 43, fired a shot outside a home in the 800 block of Uinta Street about 2 p.m. Saturday and then fled in a white Ford Explorer.

Police said a short time later, Labaki showed up at Sports World on Front Street in Evanston, demanding an additional weapon. When employees refused, he went to his vehicle, pulled out his gun and fired a single shot into the store, police said.

Officers then spotted Labaki’s vehicle about 2:40 p.m. speeding north on Highway 150.

Police said Labaki lost control at the Interstate 80 intersection, hit the sidewalk and spun in the opposite direction. An unmarked Evanston police vehicle rear-ended the vehicle, police said.

Police said Labaki, still inside his vehicle, pointed a rifle at a city police officer. Police and a Uinta County sheriff’s deputy then shot him, police said.

Labaki was taken to Evanston Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Carrie Padilla, of Rock Springs, Wyo., said Sunday her family was in the parking lot at the McDonald’s at 212 Front St. when the chase came to a stop kitty-corner to them.

She said she watched a deputy get out of his patrol vehicle and rapidly fire six or seven shots at the Explorer. She said the deputy was about five feet from the Explorer.

“He was shooting bullets like crazy,” Padilla said. “He even shot the building behind the vehicle.”

When the shooting stopped, she said officers pulled a man from the vehicle, laid him on the ground and rendered aid.

Padilla said she saw a rifle on the ground next to the vehicle but wasn’t sure if it belonged to the man or police.

“I was very upset and crying,” Padilla said. “We had just never seen anything like that.”

She said a friend had told her that a white Explorer almost hit another vehicle head-on in a different part of Evanston about 30 minutes before the shooting.

jstecklein@sltrib.com

Twitter @sltribjanelle