Salt Lake City man arrested after American Fork Walmart kidnapping, police shooting

The man fled a Walmart with a 5-year-old boy in the back seat of his vehicle, police said.

A 29-year-old Salt Lake City man was arrested Thursday after authorities said he fled from American Fork officers in a stolen vehicle with a child in the back seat following a police shooting late Tuesday, which prompted “multiple pursuits.”

Officers initially responded to a report of shoplifting at an American Fork Walmart on Tuesday after employees reported a man was concealing items in a backpack. The man allegedly fought employees in an attempt to get away and ran to the parking lot, according to court documents.

Police ordered the man to stop and walk over to them, but he threw a water bottle at an officer and ran to a nearby vehicle. A woman was in the driver’s seat and her 5-year-old son was in the back seat with another man. It is unclear if the suspected shoplifter knew the occupants of the vehicle.

The 29-year-old told the woman to “go” when he sat inside the vehicle, but she panicked and dropped her car keys, so he moved into the driver’s seat while the woman got out of the car, documents state. The man then reversed the vehicle out of the parking spot and hit the woman. She suffered minor injuries.

The man then drove toward police, and a Utah County Sheriff’s deputy fired several times at the car — unaware that the woman’s 5-year-old son was in the vehicle with the man, police said.

After fleeing the Walmart, the man evaded “multiple pursuits with law enforcement” before he was apprehended Thursday, court documents state. Authorities did not say where the 29-year-old was arrested.

An Amber Alert was issued for the boy, but it was canceled at about 3 a.m. when the child was found safe at the home of a relative. Police did not say how he got there, or if the boy has any relationship to the suspect.

Police said in a news release that the man was treated at a local hospital for injuries sustained during the altercation, though no further details were released, and it remains unclear if he was injured in the police shooting.

He was released from the hospital and booked into the Utah County Jail on Friday, but was later released on bail, records indicate. The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not name people accused of a crime unless they have been charged.

The shooting Tuesday marked the 12th police shooting in Utah in 2022, according to a database maintained by The Salt Lake Tribune.