Police in Vernal shoot at 16-year-old who was on probation

(Photo courtesy of the Uintah County Sheriff's Office) Crime scene tape surrounds a parking lot on Vernal's Main Street, where police shot at a man Thursday, March 19, 2020.

Police shot at a teen late Thursday in Vernal, after the teen “advanced on” officers, investigators said.

A probation officer called police at about 11:10 p.m. for help “making contact” with a 16-year-old who was on probation, the Uintah County sheriff’s office wrote in a news release. Sheriff’s deputies and Vernal police found the teen on Main Street, with “his hands concealed around his waist,” according to the statement.

“An officer believed the individual had a weapon,” deputies said. “When the individual advanced on the officer, a [police dog] was deployed and engaged the suspect.”

At least one officer fired on the teen, who was not hit by gunfire. He was bitten by a police dog, and treated at a nearby hospital. He was then booked into a youth detention center in Vernal.

No officers were injured in the shooting. Utah County sheriff’s deputies were conducting the investigation.

Main Street in Vernal — between 500 West and 700 West — was closed after noon, and expected to remain closed for some time, while investigators look over the scene. The Davis Food & Drug and Beachin’ Soda Shack were closed, along with the offices of the Ashley Valley Water and Sewer District, and the front parking lot of Basin Sports.