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New records detail aftermath of tribal officer shooting 2 people in back

In July, a Ute Indian Tribe Fish and Wildlife officer shot two people in the back, police said.

(Duchesne County Sheriff's Office) Two people administer first aid to two wounded people, under the green and black umbrellas, near Uinta Canyon in Duchesne County. At middle is the female officer who reportedly shot the pair. At top left is a deputy's hand, pointing to the female officer.

Newly released records show what happened immediately after a man and a woman were shot by a Ute Indian Tribe Fish and Wildlife officer on July 17 while the pair were apparently recreating near Uinta Canyon.

The body camera footage and documents do not provide context on what led to the two people being shot or confirmation on whether they were armed, though the records indicate they were not. The tribal officer’s name has not been released.

Shortly after the shooting, deputies from the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to the scene on Ute tribal lands near Uinta Canyon, just north of Neola. The two people — a man and a woman whose names have not been released — had been shot “following a UTV incident on tribal lands.” The records do not indicate whether the pair knew each other.

The body camera footage was recorded by a Duchesne County deputy and obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune through an open records request. The footage shows the officer come up on five people and three vehicles on a dirt road in an open area of sagebrush. Umbrellas are being held over the two people who were shot.

In the footage, the man who was shot is lying on his side as a bystander administers first aid; the woman who was shot is sitting up on the ground as a female officer performs first aid.

As the deputy walks up, the female officer says, “Two individuals. One’s got a shoulder wound, one’s on the back of the chest.”

The deputy asks her where the weapons are, and she replies, saying, “No. They pulled away from me on a side-by-side after [unintelligible] me in and taking off. Turned around, came back down, that’s when he was shot and she was shot. They got out. Had them lay on the floor.”

“They were both shot by —,” the deputy asks, pointing at the female officer.

“Yes,” she replies.

The deputy then calls for a medical unit. When the deputy asks where the weapons are, the man who was shot replies, “There’s no weapons.”

“Try not to move, bud,” the male deputy tells the man, reassuring him that an ambulance will arrive soon.

(Duchesne County Sheriff's Office) Officers administer first aid to a man, left, and a woman, right, who were both shot in Uinta Canyon in Duchesne County.

After the wounded man is put into an ambulance, another officer asks the deputy what happened. The deputy then turns off his body camera.

In the deputy’s report on the shooting, which also was obtained through a public records request, he writes that the female officer “was shot along with two suspects.” However, according to an FBI statement released shortly after the shooting, the tribal officer was not injured.

“After medical [personnel] cleared the scene and transported the individual to the hospital, I told the officer I was not going to ask her about the incident but wanted to know if she was OK,” the deputy wrote in the report. “Officer said she was OK, a little shaken.”

The report also states that another officer and his dog searched the scene for weapons and didn’t find any. A possible bullet slug was found in the passenger seat of the UTV, according to the records.

The man and the woman were taken to hospitals. On Thursday, a spokesperson for the FBI said they didn’t have current information regarding their conditions.

The FBI spokesperson also didn’t provide further information regarding the shooting, citing the ongoing investigation.

The July 17 police shooting marked the ninth in Utah so far this year, according to a database maintained by The Salt Lake Tribune.

The most recent was Wednesday in American Fork and involved a reported shoplifter. The 29-year-old man ran from officers, then got into a car with a 5-year-old child in the backseat and drove off.

According to American Fork police, officers made multiple attempts to stop the vehicle, but they were unsuccessful. The child was later found safe with relatives. The man remained at large Thursday evening.