Woman shot by Iron County authorities was suicidal, police say, and now faces felony charges

The woman was injured in the Jan. 29 police shooting.

A woman shot and wounded by Iron County authorities last week was charged Thursday with two felony counts of assaulting a police officer.

Shawna Owens, 37, also faces one count of aggravated assault, three counts of discharging a firearm and three DUI-related misdemeanor charges.

Authorities began looking for Owens on Jan. 29 after a report that she was suicidal, court documents state. She had last been seen leaving a residence in a white van.

Sometime later, at about 5:30 p.m. that day, a person called Cedar City police to report that someone in a parked white van had pointed a gun at their son near 4680 North and 4500 West.

The caller’s son had since left the area, and police soon identified the person in the van as Owens.

After authorities arrived, they attempted to get Owens to exit the parked van, but she was “noncompliant” and instead pointed a gun in the direction of multiple officers, court documents state.

Despite commands from police to put down the firearm, Owens again raised the weapon in the direction of police, authorities said. Officers then fired multiple times at Owens, injuring her.

Investigators later found evidence that suggested Owens had fired two rounds from the gun in the direction of officers while inside the van. No officers were injured.

Authorities also located an open bottle of alcohol, and a chemical test later showed Owens had a blood-alcohol content higher than the legal limit, according to court documents.

Owens had a prior DUI and a revoked driver’s license, and is an alcohol-restricted driver. She was required to have an ignition interlock device installed in her vehicle — which requires a breathalyzer test before starting the engine — but the van she had borrowed from a roommate was not equipped with one, police said.

Before the police shooting, Owens had fired a round through a bedroom window at her residence, her roommate told authorities. That’s why she was charged with a third count of discharging a firearm, court records indicate.

The Iron, Garfield, Beaver Critical Incident Task Force continues to investigate the shooting, which marked the third police shooting in Utah so far this year, according to a database maintained by The Salt Lake Tribune.

Editor’s note • If you or people you know are at risk of self-harm, dial 988 to reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which provides 24-hour support.

— Tribune staff reporter Kolbie Peterson contributed to this story.