Spanish Fork • Police were on guard as the hunt for an armed and dangerous man entered its fifth day.
The 33-year-old had already shot at an officer and a homeowner during a vehicle theft over the weekend, police say.
But in the end, Justin Gary Llewelyn was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Spanish Fork without another bullet being fired.
“Everything could have gone worse,” Unified Police Department Lt. Brian Lohrke said. “As bad as it was, it could have been worse. We are very thankful for that.”
After issuing a $4,500 reward for information leading to Llewelyn’s arrest amid days of searching, a UPD officer found him at Bicentennial Park in Provo about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. The officer had been investigating in the area based on information that he was there, Lohrke said.
UPD was working with the U.S. Marshals Service as part of the Violent Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team. The task force was developing a plan to arrest Llewelyn, considered armed and extremely dangerous, when he fled from the area in what was later determined to be a stolen truck.
The chase went through Provo, pulling Provo police and the Utah County Sheriff’s Office into the chase. A Utah County deputy was southbound on Main Street in Spanish Fork when Llewelyn was northbound. The deputy quickly turned and clipped the back of Llewelyn’s truck, crashing it into a parked tow truck.
Llewelyn was arrested without further violence.
Lohrke said it was a more peaceful ending than police expected.
“That’s what we hope for,” Lohrke said. “That’s why we were pleading for him to turn himself in.”
Llewelyn was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries from the crash, as was the deputy. While it was originally reported that the deputy broke his arm, Utah County Lt. Erik Knutzen said the man sustained just scratches and bruises.
Police had been looking for Llewelyn since two shootings were reported in Riverton on Saturday. A UPD officer allegedly saw Llewelyn prowling cars at the apartment complex at 13469 Dragonfly Lane in Riverton about 6 a.m. When the officer tried to talk to him, Llewelyn fled.
The officer reported the chase, UPD said, and a responding officer was pulling into the parking lot as Llewelyn was running by. Llewelyn shot at the officer, who returned fire. The officer was not hit.
Police say Llewelyn then broke into a nearby home to steal a car. When the resident came down to investigate a noise, Llewelyn shot him. Llewelyn then fled in the man’s car, which was found crashed near Blackridge Reservoir.
The resident was taken to the hospital, police have said, and is recovering in good condition.
For more than a week, Llewelyn evaded police.
On Tuesday, Salt Lake City police took in three people for questioning. Two of them — a 50-year-old woman and a 24-year-old woman — were later arrested on complaints of obstructing justice, police announced on Twitter.
Probable-cause statements indicate that the women lied to police about Llewelyn’s involvement in the shootings when police talked to them Saturday. Telephone records reportedly prove that the women knew of Llewelyn’s “involvement in this crime and took steps to be untruthful with law enforcement.”
In the months before the shootings, police say, Llewelyn had been living with a family member near the Riverton-Herriman border. His criminal history includes assault-, theft-, weapons- and drug-related charges.
When Llewelyn was seen at the park Wednesday, Lohrke said, police wanted to arrest him despite the risks of a pursuit.
“We already knew his violent tendencies,” Lohrke said. “He’s already shot somebody.
“When it’s something like this, we have to get this guy.”
Lohrke said Llewelyn was dazed in the crash, which could have contributed to his eventual surrender. While Llewelyn didn’t have a gun on his person when arrested, police saw one in the truck.
Because a UPD officer was involved in the Saturday shootout, processing of the truck will fall to the Salt Lake City Police Department, which is the lead investigator on the case.
During the manhunt, at least six local and federal agencies participated, some working day and night, Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said.
The diligence was necessary, she said, to protect the communities terrorized by the allegedly violent and dangerous man.