A fugitive parolee suspected of robbing several businesses in Salt Lake County killed himself Thursday in Washington state after killing a police dog.
Dennis O'Brien, 32, whom local police had dubbed the "red-headed robber," was cornered outside a Seattle motel after he tried to cash some suspicious checks early Thursday, according to a police detective who asked not to be identified.Police sent a dog after O'Brien, who shot the animal dead then turned the gun on himself. O'Brien died about three hours later. Police took into custody a 15-year-old runaway girl who was with O'Brien.
The detective said O'Brien had been identified by witnesses as a suspect in at least two armed robberies in the Salt Lake area and was being investigated in about 10 others. Three of those holdups - two shoe stores and one optical store - occurred on June 27.
Salt Lake detectives had tracked O'Brien to Portland, Ore., where checks stolen from Salt Lake County had been cashed.
O'Brien had been paroled from Utah State Prison in May 1986 after serving time for aggravated robbery, burglary and conspiracy to commit murder, said Gene Pressett, an Adult Probation and Parole supervisor. Pressett said O'Brien was being sought for failing to report to his parole officer.