Two women are dead and a man was in critical condition Saturday at University Hospital after a bizarre murder-kidnapping involving five victims who apparently surprised two burglars at a cabin in the Beaver Springs development, about 10 miles east of here.
According to Det. Sgt. Robert Berry, the five victims had been staying at the cabin for the holiday season but had spent Friday night in Salt Lake City. Upon their return to the cabin Saturday afternoon, they surprised two men inside. Officials said the men then apparently shot and killed two of the five - a woman in her 50s, a woman in her 70s - and also shot a third victim, a man in his 50s, in the face.All three were taken by LifeFlight to Salt Lake hospitals. The two women were dead on arrival at LDS Hospital, according to officials there, and the man was listed in critical condition at University Hospital.
After the shootings occurred, Berry said the men kidnapped the two remaining victims - sisters ages 16 and 20 - set fire to the cabin, and left with the two hostages.
The Summit County Sheriff's office was notified of the shooting at 3:36 p.m., after someone who knew the victims passed a car driven by the suspects on a one-lane road leading to the cabin and called 911 on a mobile phone.
After the sheriff's office had been notified, "A Summit County Sheriff's unit observed the suspect vehicle southbound toward Kamas and started pursuit. A high-speed chase ensued for several miles until the suspect vehicle ran off the road at Lemon's Dugway in Francis. One of the male suspects exited the car and confronted the officers with a handgun," Berry said.
A Kamas officer was also involved in the stop and fired two shots. "The suspect then threw down his gun and both suspects were arrested and are currently being held in the Summit County Jail for investigation of criminal homicide." Charges are pending.
At press time, officials had not released the names of the victims, or their relationship to one another, according to Berry.
The two sisters, who witnessed the shootings, are being held in protective custody, according to Berry. "The girls were not injured but are extremely frightened."
The state fire marshall's office and the state crime lab will return to the scene today to begin their investigation.