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Suspect in fatal deputy shooting dies of wounds

Sgt. Cory Wride was 'one of those good guys,' brother-in-law says

Published: Friday, Jan. 31 2014 12:00 p.m. MST

"He had been running suspect information and vehicle information almost 20 minutes before the shooting event occurred," the sheriff said. "And he was working to identify who was in the vehicle, but he was not able to identify that person."

At that point, someone in the pickup opened a rear port window "and proceeded to shoot through that window out of the suspect's car, hitting Cory Wride two times,” Tracy said.

"We're pretty sure he became increasingly nervous, that he was going to be found out. … At some point, he must have made a determination he was going to be caught, he was going to be returned to prison, and initiated the gunfire.

"I'm sure he understood the consequences of not reporting (to Adult Probation and Parole) and not fulfilling those obligations," Tracy said. "This individual was clearly not going to be taken without a fight."

Detectives now believe a high-caliber handgun was used to shoot Wride rather than an assault rifle.

The chase

After Wride was shot, the suspects drove off and were spotted by Sherwood about 2:50 p.m. near Main and Center streets in Santaquin. Tracy said there was also dashboard camera video of that encounter. Just moments after engaging in a chase with the fleeing suspect, someone again opened the rear portal window of the suspect's pickup and fired at Sherwood, striking the deputy in the head.

Sherwood underwent surgery Thursday. He remained hospitalized Friday in critical condition, but Tracy was optimistic about his prognosis.

His wife, Gina Sherwood, released a statement Friday thanking the public for its support.

“Greg is breathing on his own and talking to us and the doctors. His surgery went very well and we are told he may be able to leave the hospital in less than a week. Our son and I greatly appreciate the support of our family and friends, including everyone from our police family. Greg is very concerned about the Wride family and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time.”

From Santaquin, the gunman continued south. Shots were again fired in Nephi, just off Exit 222, where the suspect crashed his vehicle and then tried to carjack another.

"Numerous shots" were fired at citizens and passing vehicles, said Nephi Police Chief Michael Morgan. But no bystanders were injured.

The suspects made several carjacking attempts before succesfully forcing a woman and her 3- to 4-year-old boy off the road at gunpoint, and forcing them out of their car before taking their vehicle. The mother was treated at a local hospital for stress-related symptoms, Morgan said. She was not identified by law enforcement.

The Utah Highway Patrol is investigating the carjacking. As of Friday, it was still unclear how many vehicles the couple attempted to steal before being successful.

Back to I-15

The gunman again took to southbound I-15 after the carjacking and another high-speed chase ensued. That ended south of Nephi about 3:20 p.m., when the tires on Garcia-Juaregui's vehicle were spiked, sending the car through the median, off the road and crashing into a fence.

Juab County Sheriff Alden Orme said Garcia-Juaregui again attempted to carjack another vehicle and more shots were fired. Some vehicles were hit, including a semi-truck, but no drivers were injured, he said. Four Juab County sheriff's deputies who were pursuing Garcia-Juaregui arrived at the scene a short time later and the final gun battle ensued.

"There were shots fired at officers; officers returned fire," Orme said. "We're just thankful there weren't citizens and additional officers injured in Juab County."

The teenage girl, who did not attempt to resist arrest, was not injured.

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