WEST VALLEY CITY Officers shot and killed an armed man who police say had taken a clerk hostage during a jewelry store heist Tuesday evening.
The man, described only as being younger than 30, robbed Pailin Jewelry, 3538 S. Redwood Road, said West Valley Police Capt. Tom McLachlan.
A robbery alarm was triggered inside the store at 5:43 p.m. and officers arrived as the man attempted to leave the store with a clerk. The woman managed to escape on her own before three police officers shot and killed the suspect.
"He made a threatening motion of some kind," McLachlan said. "That's how officers are trained; if they perceive a threat, they take the action necessary."
No one else was injured during the incident, but the shooting left some visibly shaken.
Ivana Kobasijevic, 20, had become bored as she waited for her mother to finish her haircut at Tony's Salon, just south of the jewelry store. Instead, Kobasijevic decided to wait in her car, parked in front of Pailin Jewelry.
Kobasijevic said she saw the suspect came out of the store with his right arm around the clerk. She said the window was rolled down and he looked right at her, then she saw him reach for his gun with his left hand.
"He came out with the hostage and there was a gun in his hand," she said. "I tried to hide in my car the best that I could."
She didn't see any more because she had crouched down in the SUV, thinking she was going to die. She listened to the gunfire. When she felt like it was safe, she sat up in the vehicle and got the attention of a police officer near her and she said he appeared startled that someone was so close during the shooting.
Her mother, Sonja Kobasijevic, heard the shots from inside the salon.
"I jumped up to see if she is OK, but they locked the doors and wouldn't let me out," she said. "The girl working in the salon wanted me to go in another room, but I said, 'I can't it's my daughter."'
Ivana Kobasijevic, who was visibly shaken, said her family moved to Utah from the former Yugoslavia 11 years ago. Incidents like this are "nothing new," but the woman said she was frightened just the same.
Just north of the jewelry store, two young parents were about to walk out of Gen X Clothing with their purchases and their 2-month-old son when the shooting started.
"We looked out the window and saw gun shells all over the ground," said Aracely Cedillo of West Valley City.
The Gen X store was robbed at gunpoint last December, and armed robbers fired a shotgun blast into the ceiling of Factory 4 U, a store in the same strip mall, in January.
On the east side of Redwood Road, a man walking to catch his bus heard shots and dropped to the ground to cover himself."I was scared," he said. "I just took cover. That's all you can do."