VERNAL — Detectives are investigating a shooting at a house north of Vernal Tuesday night that left one man dead. A woman was also hospitalized with undisclosed injuries.

Curtis Dale Hardinger, 34, of Vernal, was found with a gunshot wound to his chest and taken to Ashley Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

A second person, a woman, was also taken to the same hospital for what the Uintah County Sheriff's Office would only call "medical treatment."

The sheriff's office also reported in a prepared statement that a "person of interest has been identified and located," without giving further details.

The incident began when emergency crews responded to a house near 2600 North and 500 East just before midnight. Someone had called 911 to report that a man had been shot, according to Uintah County Sheriff Jeff Merrell.

It also was not immediately clear what kind of relationship, if any, existed between the man and woman, Merrell said.

Sheriff's detectives executed a search warrant on the house with the assistance of Vernal and Naples police detectives and the state medical examiner's office. A Uintah County prosecutor was also seen leaving the house about 3:30 a.m.

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Investigators recovered a gun, but Merrell said it was unclear whether it is the weapon that was used in the shooting.

At least four people, including the man who died, were inside the house when the fatal shot was fired, the sheriff said.

"We think this is an isolated incident," Merrell said. "We do not think that the public is in danger at all."

Hardinger's body was sent to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy.

Contributing: Pat Reavy


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