Like a scene from an action movie, Cedar City police say a motorcyclist fleeing through town from an officer fired a pistol at a motorcycle in front of him, striking a man in the back.
The 21-year-old victim is expected to recover from the gunshot wounds. The alleged shooter, 55-year-old James Alan Reynolds, has been booked into the Iron County jail on suspicion of attempted homicide, discharge of a firearm from a vehicle, fleeing from an officer and reckless driving. No charges had been filed against him in district court as of Friday morning.
Cedar City police said Reynolds was driving his motorcycle about 5:40 p.m. Thursday when an officer attempted to pull him over for a moving violation. But Reynolds allegedly refused to stop, instead he turned around and took off in the opposite direction, according to officials.
The officer pursued him north on Main Street, when police say Reynolds drew a gun and shot the 21-year-old man, who was also riding a motorcycle in the same direction. Two rounds from Reynolds’ rifle hit the victim in the lower back, and the victim went off the road and crashed.
Cedar City Sgt. Jimmy Roden said Friday that investigators are still looking into the incident, but said it doesn’t appear that Reynolds knew the man he shot.
“Right now, we don’t see a connection between these two men,” Roden said. “It appears to be random.”
After the shooting, Reynolds continued to flee from police, still on his motorcycle. The pursuit ended after Reynolds attempted to pass through a congested intersection at Center and Main streets against a red light, his motorcycle colliding with a westbound vehicle.
Reynolds and the people in the vehicle suffered only minor injuries, according to police.
The shooting victim, who police declined to identify, was taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center in serious condition on Thursday. Roden said Friday that the man is expected to recover from his wounds.
Reynolds’ previous criminal history in Utah is limited to a 2007 charge of carrying a dangerous concealed weapon. He entered into a plea in abeyance on the charge in February 2008, and was sentenced to serve 50 days in the Iron County Jail.
More on the case
O A Cedar City officer was attempting to stop James Alan Reynolds on his motorcycle for a moving violation when he fled. › sltrib.com