Shooting investigation: Two teens tried to rob off-duty West Valley police officer — but likely didn’t know he was a cop

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Police investigate a shooting at the Village at Rivers Edge Apartment complex in West Valley, City, Tuesday, November 7, 2017.

Two teens accused of shooting and wounding a man during an attempted robbery last week likely didn’t know their intended victim was an off-duty West Valley City officer, police said on Tuesday.

The officer had been checking his mail at a communal mailbox at home near 3300 South and 1250 West just after 7 p.m. last Tuesday, according to a news release from West Valley police.

As he walked back home, two suspects with a handgun stopped him and allegedly attempted to rob him.

“During the course of this robbery, multiple rounds were fired both at the officer and by the officer,” the release stated. The suspects fled.

Shortly after the officer reported the shooting, the release states, two youths arrived at a local hospital with gunshot wounds. A 17-year-old male had been shot once and a 15-year-old had been shot twice. They arrived at the hospital in a vehicle matching the description the officer had given after the shooting.

The officer suffered one gunshot wound in the foot and is recovering after been released from the hospital. He hadn’t been in uniform during the attempted robbery, according to the release, which added that there is no information that indicates the suspects knew their intended victim or knew he was a police officer.

The 17-year-old has been booked into juvenile detention, according to West Valley City Police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku. The 15-year-old has not yet been released from the hospital, but police believe his injuries are not life-threatening. Charges have not yet been filed against either teen, Vainuku said.

The officer, who has been on the force for three years, is on paid administrative leave during the investigation, which is being conducted by Unified Police.