Man suspected of Utah freeway shootout believed God would help him kill a police officer

(Photo courtesy Utah County Sheriff's Office) Arturo Ray Gallemore-Jimenez

A man who shot at Utah County police while driving on Interstate 15 last week later told police that had he gotten the opportunity, he would have killed a police officer.

He also told police he believed “God would have put that police officer in [his] path to kill him,” according to newly released court documents.

Arturo Ray Gallemore-Jimenez, 37, had made a mental list of 13 people he was going to kill and was prepared to shoot police officers to avoid going to jail, he said in an interview with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office two days after the Dec. 20 freeway shootout.

He was booked into the Salt Lake County jail on Dec. 23 on suspicion of attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony; possession of a firearm by a restricted person and failure to stop at the command of police, both third-degree felonies. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail, cash-only.

Events began at about 6 p..m. on Dec. 20, when Gallemore-Jimenez had shot out his pickup truck window after locking himself out of the truck at a Nephi gas station, according to the probable cause statement.

After shooting out the truck window, he drove north on I-15, where police officers tried to pull him over.

He stopped, and put his hands out of the truck window. A Utah County sheriff’s sergeant shouted commands at Gallemore-Jimenez, who shouted something back, “as if he [couldn’t] hear the commands,” the court documents state.

As the officer got closer to Gallemore-Jimenez’s window, Gallemore-Jimenez pulled his hands back into the truck and pointed a handgun at the officer.

Gallemore-Jimenez fired “at least three times” at the officer, the documents state. As Gallemore-Jimenez sped off, deputies returned fire, shooting out two of the truck’s tires.

Bullets continued to fly between Gallemore-Jimenez and the police officers as they drove north on I-15 at speeds of about 30 mph.

Stray bullets hit two passing cars, according to Utah County sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon. One hit a 21-year-old Provo man in the shoulder and left him with an injury that was not life-threatening. A second car was also struck, and bullets “narrowly missed” its occupants, a man and his 4-year-old son, Cannon said.

Investigators haven’t yet determined whether those bullets were fired by Gallemore-Jimenez or law enforcement officers.

The shooting continued until Gallemore-Jimenez swerved to take the University Parkway exit in Orem.

Police fired several more rounds at the truck, and a wounded Gallemore-Jimenez lost control of the pickup and crashed into a fence on the offramp.

Gallemore-Jimenez — who was reportedly wearing body armor — was shot in the neck and arm. His injuries are not life-threatening. He was released from the Utah Valley Hospital and interviewed by police on Dec. 22.

During the interview he said he “was prepared to shoot officers” because he didn’t want to go to jail.

“He believed God would have put that officer in Gallemore-Jimenez’s vehicle’s path to kill him,” the documents state. He also reportedly told police that he had made a mental list of 13 people he was going to kill, and that he was prepared to die himself.

He also is considered a person of interest in a recent shooting in Aurora, Colo, confirmed Aurora Police Officer Ken Forrest. Somebody was shot in the back three or four times on Dec. 19, the day before Gallemore-Jimenez’s shootout with officers in Utah, court documents state. There is not yet a warrant for his arrest in Colorado, nor have charges been filed against him, Forrest said.

His criminal record also includes convictions in Kansas, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Missouri, and arrests in South Dakota and Colorado, according to court documents.

On social media, he had posted photos of revolvers and gang affiliations. He also wrote that “if any ‘pigs, Gs or anyone else’ gets in his way, he would send souls to heaven.”