Police killed a white supremacist who they say rammed several vehicles with his car, including police squad cars, and injured an officer early Saturday.
Darren Neil Grueber, 48, a documented gang member of the Silent Aryan Warriors, was shot several times by two officers from West Jordan and South Jordan, said Taylorsville Police Sgt. Rosie Rivera. He was taken to University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Grueber had a criminal history dating back to 1982, according to court records, including charges and convictions for assaulting a police officer, aggravated assault, drug possession and sexual battery. In 2002, he was sent to federal prison for a firearms violation but was out on federal probation during Saturday's shooting.
Grueber's family is also no stranger to law enforcement. His son, Darren Grueber Jr. was convicted of a 2001 murder in which he smashed a man's head with a rock, duct-taped the victim's hands and feet, covered the man with a sheet and dumped him on a dirt road in Magna. Earlier this month, the Utah Supreme Court rejected Grueber's appeal that he didn't receive a fair trial.
During his trial, prosecutors alleged that Darren Grueber Jr., who was 18 at at the time of the murder, wanted to be like his father in joining SAW but was denied membership because he had never been to prison. Prosecutors say the younger Grueber offered to kill Don Dorton as gang initiation.
In Saturday's incident involving the father, nearly a dozen members of the Salt Lake Metro Gang Unit were serving a search warrant at the Spring Hill Apartments near 1700 West and 5600 South about 4:30 a.m. Officers were searching for drugs and weapons.
Although the man law enforcers were targeting was not in the apartment when they arrived, they received word that Grueber was on his way over, Rivera said.
When Grueber arrived, deputies used their vehicles to box him in to prevent him from leaving so they could question him, Rivera said.
"He decided he was going to take off," Rivera said. "He throws it into forward, hits a detective's vehicle ... . throws it into reverse, hits a tree ... then hits a civilian vehicle and gets his car stuck in the other car ... then goes forward and hits two more police vehicles," Rivera said.
A West Jordan police officer, standing outside the vehicles, suffered a minor shoulder injury when one of the cars bumped him.Comment on this story
Fearing for their lives, at least two officers opened fire on Grueber, Rivera said. The incident could have been even worse, but a Taylorsville officer showed restraint by not firing because a female passenger in Grueber's car was in his line of fire, she said. The woman was not arrested.
Before the shooting, another man showed up at the apartment where the warrant was served. A 27-year-old man was arrested on drug possession and two warrants for drug distribution and possession.White supremacists have been in the news frequently as of late. Curtis Allgier, a heavily tattooed white supremacist, was arrested and charged last month in connection with the shooting death of a corrections officer during an escape. Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty.