Second robbery suspect nabbed after accomplice killed in shootout
An armed robbery suspect shot and killed Wednesday in Salt Lake City was one of two women allegedly involved in a weekend robbery in Murray, according to police, and detectives late Wednesday caught her alleged accomplice.
The woman was shot by a member of the Joint Criminal Apprehension Team (JCAT), an interagency fugitive apprehension team.
Members of JCAT have been seeking the pair in connection with the Saturday armed robbery of Scaddy's restaurant, which involved an exchange of gunfire between one of the suspects and a Murray police officer in which no one was injured, Salt Lake City police said Wednesday.
Police spent much of Wednesday searching for the suspect at-large, 40-year-old Sandra Chotia-Thompson.
Chotia-Thompson was taken into custody late Wednesday night after turning herself into police, according to a Salt Lake County jail probable cause statement.
She was booked on suspicion of aggravated robbery for the Thursday robbery of a business at 1224 S. 400 East in Salt Lake City. That robbery occurred at about 6:10 p.m., about six hours after her alleged partner in crime had been killed.
Chotia-Thompson turned herself into police at about 10:15 p.m. Thursday .
The fatal shooting of the other woman occurred at about 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, as JCAT members were attempting to serve an arrest warrant near Liberty Park, according to Jim Phelps, spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Office and JCAT commander.
"The suspect would not give up. The suspect attempted to run over one of the JCAT officers and shots were fired, fatally injuring the suspect," Phelps said.
The incident occurred on Lake Street, near 800 East and 900 South. The suspect was driving a white pickup. Neighbors reported hearing four gunshots. The shots reportedly were fired by a South Salt Lake police officer who is a JCAT member.
Chotia-Thompson was not at the shooting scene.
The shooting victim has not been identified, pending notification of next of kin.
Earlier reports regarding the Scaddy's robbery had identified the robber as a man wearing a top hat, top coat, and Groucho Marx-style disguise of glasses, rubber nose and fake mustache. Witnesses also described the robber as in his early 20s, about 5-foot-8 with a thin build.
But during the investigation, detectives thought it was possible that the disguised robber was a woman, police said Wednesday.
The robber entered Scaddy's, 5430 S. 900 East, at about 6 p.m. Saturday and allegedly demanded money from a clerk at gunpoint.
About 20 minutes later, a Murray police officer spotted the robber at a Family Dollar store at 6160 S. 1300 East. After seeing the police officer pull into the parking lot, the robber fled, running south on 1300 East and into a residential neighborhood.
The officer gave chase, returning fire when the robber stopped short of a parked car and began shooting at him. A bullet hit the getaway car.
No one was injured, but the robber and a woman waiting inside the car took off on foot down the street, running into an open garage where they took a 2010 Dodge Caliber from the resident and drove away, evading police.
Murray police spokesman Kenny Bass said police recovered the stolen Caliber before the shooting Wednesday.
Murray police later said they were seeking Chotia-Thompson for questioning in connection with the robbery. Salt Lake City police also suspect her in robberies in their city.
According to state court records, Chotia-Thompson was listed as a Salt Lake City resident in 2010. Her record includes two misdemeanor drug possession counts, to which she entered pleas in abeyance, and some traffic offenses.
JCAT comprises federal, state and local police agencies, and its aim is to arrest violent offenders, gang members and sex offenders with outstanding warrants.