Week after shootout, Juab deputies remain on leave
Four Juab County sheriff's deputies roughly half the rural county's officers remained on administrative leave Thursday, a week after they ended an ex-con's murderous spree in a hail of bullets.
Sheriff's Lt. Brent Pulver said the ongoing shooting review, being conducted by the Utah State Bureau of Investigation, had strained his department's resources.
"They are still on leave, and that's half our patrol division. [There has been] lots of overtime, but we're doing all right" in covering the county, Pulver said, adding that he had no estimate for when the review would end and the deputies return to duty.
Citing the ongoing nature of the investigation, Pulver said he could not release further details on exactly how the four deputies brought 27-year-old Jose Angel Garcia-Jauregui's shooting spree which left Utah County Sheriff's Deputy Cory Wride dead inside his patrol vehicle near Eagle Mountain and another deputy critically wounded in Santaquin to an end on Jan. 30.
What combined reports from Utah and Juab counties' sheriff's offices have confirmed is that Garcia-Jauregui had already shot the two lawmen in Utah County before he crashed his car in Nephi. He then fired several times at passing motorists before forcing a woman and her young son out of their car and stealing it.
Tire spikes finally blew out the tires on the stolen vehicle south of Nephi on Interstate 15, and Garcia-Jauregui careened through the median and crashed into a fence. He fired more shots at passing traffic in an unsuccessful bid to carjack another vehicle before the Juab deputies closed in, exchanged gunfire and brought Garcia-Jauregui down.
Pulver declined to address reports that the four deputies advanced on the suspect without taking cover, counting on their combined suppressive fire to bring an end to the battle.
"I can't go into that. All we can say at this point is that we believe our officers did exactly what they needed to do," Pulver said.
Garcia-Jauregui died of his wounds on Jan. 31, the day after the I-15 gun battle.
No motive for Garcia-Jauregui's violent actions has been released by authorities. However, the Utah Board of Pardons and Parole had issued a warrant for his arrest the day before the shooting episodes.
Corrections officials have said the warrant was issued after Garcia-Jauregui failed to check in with a parole officer, report a change in residence or maintain a job, as required by his parole conditions.
Garcia-Jauregui was paroled on Dec. 4, 2012 after serving 5 years (with credit for time served in jail) of a one-to-15-year stint at the Utah State Prison for 2008 convictions for attempted murder and aggravated assault.
According to court records, Garcia-Jauregui stabbed a man 21 times with a Phillips screwdriver after running him over with his car in Springville in 2008. After the stabbing, he assaulted another man with a tire iron or crowbar, causing a fracture to the man's face.
A notation on Garcia-Jauregui's parole order says he was "not to remain in or enter the United States illegally."
But U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials clarified this week that Garcia-Jauregui was a U.S. citizen.
ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) officers encountered Garcia-Jauregui at the Utah State Prison in 2008, according to ICE public affairs officer Andrew Munoz.
"After a review of his immigration records, ERO officers determined that, while he was foreign-born, he had derived U.S. citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000," Munoz said in an email. "As he was a U.S. citizen, ICE took no further immigration enforcement action."
The Child Citizenship Act permits foreign-born children including adopted children to acquire citizenship automatically if they met certain requirements, which included:
* The child had at least one United States citizen parent (by birth or naturalization).
* The child was under 18 years of age.
* The child was currently residing permanently in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the United States citizen parent.
* The child was a lawful permanent resident.
Meanwhile, funeral services were held Wednesday for 44-year-old Wride. The second deputy shot by Garcia-Jauregui, Deputy Greg Sherwood, was critically wounded but expected to recover.
Tribune reporter Michael McFall contributed to this story.
Slain officer's son petitions Obama administration to protect police
Nathan Mohler, the son of slain Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Cory Wride has initiated a petition process that he hopes will result in bullet-proof glass, or bullet-proof film, being installed in police officer's patrol cars.
Last week, Wride was killed and another officer was wounded both by bullets that penetrated the windshields of their patrol vehicles.
Mohler's petition, posted on the White House website, "We the People," seeks 100,000 signatures by March 7.
Titled, "Protect our Law Enforcement from being shot like Sgt. Cory Wride," the petition states:
"Our Law Enforcement officers don't have to die needlessly. My dad Sgt. Cory Wride was shot and killed on January 30, 2014. The same day Deputy Greg Sherwood was also shot, he is expected to survive. Both officers were shot through their windshield. We want to prevent such a thing from happening again! There are many ways to protect those that work tirelessly to protect us all, on of which is to put bullet-proof glass in each car. A cheaper way could be a bullet-proof film that is much cheaper and can do the same thing. Either way a solution needs to be made. No longer can we stand idly by and see nothing done. Please sign this petition and let's make a change for the better. Thank you."
The petition can be found at: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/protect-our-law-enforcemnt-being-shot-sgt-cory-wride/pjMtL3j3