SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake man accused of shooting a Unified police officer, prompting him to shoot back and hit an uninvolved bystander, has been charged with attempted aggravated murder.
Jeremy Michael Bowden, 33, was charged in 3rd District Court Thursday in connection with the Oct. 30 shooting. Investigators say he fired at officer Cory Tsouras, striking him once in the chest of his bulletproof vest.
Bowden is charged with attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony, which carries a potential sentence of life in prison.
The incident began when another Unified police officer spotted a stolen vehicle in the parking lot of the Mouse Pad, an Internet cafe at 38 W. 7200 South, when Bowden came out of the business and approached the vehicle's driver-side door. When the uniformed officer attempted to block the car with his own and got out of the vehicle to approach Bowden, Bowden ran, according to police.
Tsouras had arrived to provide backup and was driving alongside Bowden as he ran near Rocket Express Car Wash, 150 W. 7200 South, when Bowden allegedly fired. In addition to the shot that struck Tsouras in the chest, a round pierced the headrest of the driver's seat in the car, charging documents state. Six shell casings were recovered from the scene.
Tsouras continued driving to get out of harm's way, then turned his patrol car around to look for the gunman. That's when he spotted a man with an "extremely close" description of Bowden trying to get inside the car wash, Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said at the time.
Tsouras fired two shots at the man, 30-year-old Dustin Evans, as he attempted to take cover in the car wash. Evans was struck once in the arm and once in the leg.
The Salt Lake County District Attorney's office is still reviewing the shooting, and Tsouras remained on paid administrative leave Friday.
As Tsouras focused on Evans, police say Bowden fled over a wall, landing on the roof of a carport where officers later found an empty 9 mm handgun and magazine. Officers spotted Bowden scaling a fence several blocks north of the car wash and again ordered him to stop, according to the charges.
The officers hit Bowden with a Taser and took him into custody, charges state.
Bowden is also charged with receiving a stolen vehicle, a second-degree felony; possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a second-degree felony; obstructing justice, a second-degree felony; five counts of felony discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony; and failure to stop at the command of a police officer, a class A misdemeanor.
The Mouse Pad location where the incident began, along with two other Internet cafes, were raided and shut down Thursday for suspected involvement in an online gambling ring.