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Orem Police Department
Mason French, 24

OREM — Police have arrested two men they believe are responsible for the death of an Orem man who was shot in the back and crashed his car early Tuesday morning.

Rupert E. Miley, 42, was shot in the back and crashed his car at 800 North and 100 East about 3:15 a.m. Tuesday. It was unclear whether he was shot before the accident or after.

Miley was taken to an area hospital, where he died, Orem Police Lt. Craig Martinez said.

Police said they believe Mason French and Travis Waldron, both 24, were passengers in the car, and they arrested both men for investigation of murder and obstruction of justice. They were expected to be booked into Utah County Jail on Wednesday.

Waldron is also being investigated for possession of a firearm by a restricted person.

Orem police responded to a call from a homeowner who heard the car crash early Tuesday morning. The vehicle was driving west in an eastbound lane and in a "pinball" fashion hit several trees, a light pole, a fire hydrant and street signs before coming to a stop, Martinez said.

"They were traveling at a high rate of speed and going the wrong way for at least three or four blocks," he said. "Luckily, it didn't happen at 9 o'clock. It happened at 3, when there's three cars on the road — him and two cops."

Officers found French with minor injuries on the ground outside the wrecked Saturn. Miley was unconscious and struggling to breathe in the driver's seat, police said.

"Shortly after the investigation started, things weren’t adding up," Martinez said. "The amount of blood on the driver didn’t match the injuries that the officers could see, so they started to ask some questions of the passenger. When his answers weren’t matching up with what the officers were seeing, they looked closer at (Miley) and saw that he had a gunshot wound in his back."

Police recovered a chrome revolver at the scene of the accident, and they believe the weapon was used to shoot Miley. They also learned that Waldron may have been a second passenger in the car.

They tracked Waldron to a home in southwest Orem, and a multi-agency SWAT team took him into custody Tuesday afternoon.

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