A man believed to be an escaped sex offender from the Utah State Prison was shot to death Sunday in Nevada by a Nye County deputy sheriff responding to a burglary call.
Officers believe the dead man is Dale N. Garrett, 49, West Jordan, who walked away from a minimum-security work detail at the Draper prison last week.The man was killed after he opened fire on two deputies who approached the vehicle he was sitting in. One deputy was seriously injured in the exchange.
Deputy Walt Littsky was shot once in the chest with a .357-caliber handgun, according to Undersheriff Mark Zane. Littsky then emptied his service revolver into his assailant, who was pronounced dead at the scene.
His body has been taken to the Nevada Medical Examiner's Office in Reno for an autopsy and positive identification.
Littsky was treated at Nye General Hospital in Tonopah, then flown to Humana Sunrise Hospital - a trauma center in Las Vegas - where he was listed in stable condition after surgery Monday. A lung damaged by the gunshot wound was removed, but Littsky is expected to fully recover.
Zane said two deputies answered a call about a prowler at a housing subdivision about two miles northeast of Tonopah, located about 200 miles north of Las Vegas.
There was no positive identification of the victim but a spokeswoman said officers have good reason to believe it is Garrett. He had been convicted of two counts of sexual abuse of a child in January and escaped from a work detail from the Utah State Prison May 3.
The Nevada Highway Patrol said Garrett was last seen on I-80 between Lovelock and Fernley, Nev., and it was believed he was heading for Reno. Garrett was seen in Utah driving a tan pickup truck stolen Sunday from Kennecott Copper in Salt Lake County.
Garrett had been at the prison since Jan. 19 and was the first inmate to walk away from the Draper site in four or five years, according to department spokesman Dave Franchina.
The shooting incident is being investigated by the Nye County Sheriff's Office and the Nevada Division of Investigations.