OREM — A man injured by police during a shootout Wednesday night was heavily armed and wearing body armor, investigators said Thursday.
Arturo Gallemore-Jimenez, 37, was shot in the right side of his neck and in the right forearm, said Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon. His injuries are not considered to be life-threatening.
Gallemore-Jimenez remained under guard Thursday at Utah Valley Hospital as investigators continued piecing together how Wednesday's incident unfolded. He is expected to remain hospitalized at least another day. Once he is released, he will be transferred to the Salt Lake County Jail, Cannon said.
The shootout happened on I-15 in Utah and Juab counties. The series of events began just after 6 p.m. in Nephi where Gallemore-Jimenez was at a truck stop trying to get money for gas either by asking other patrons for money or trying to sell them something, Cannon said.
But the man soon realized that he had locked his keys in his pickup truck. Customers at the truck stop told him he should call police to get his vehicle unlocked, but he told them something to the effect of he "couldn't afford that," according to Cannon. That's when other patrons reported hearing a gunshot.
"It looks like he shot his own truck to gain access to it," the sergeant said.
As Utah Highway Patrol troopers and Utah County sheriff's deputies started looking for Gallemore-Jimenez, they spotted him about 30 minutes later driving north on I-15 between Spanish Fork and Springville. Additional officers from other agencies were called and a felony stop was made.
Cannon, who was listening to the events unfold on his police radio, said approximately 30 seconds after the car was pulled over there was a report of shots fired. Gallemore-Jimenez fired his weapon and deputies returned fire, he said.
It was during that exchange of gunfire that a 21-year-old Provo man who was pulled off on the side of the freeway about 500 yards away, was shot in the shoulder, Cannon said. The man and a friend had run out of gas and were in the process of putting fuel into their vehicle when the shots were fired.
"They then took cover, called 911, and waited for law enforcement and (paramedics) to arrive," Cannon said.
The 21-year-old man was treated for his injuries at a hospital and was released later Wednesday night. Whether he was hit by police gunfire or shots from Gallemore-Jimenez was still under investigation.
After exchanging shots with police, the gunman got back into his car and continued to drive but only at 30 mph, possibly due to two flat rear tires, Cannon said. It was not immediately clear if the tires were flattened by gunshots, but he said officers did not lay down any spike strips.
About 9 miles later, Gallemore-Jimenez's vehicle crashed into a fence off the side of the freeway near the University Parkway exit in Orem, Cannon said. Investigators were unsure if he lost control his vehicle or crashed on purpose.
Although the sergeant said Gallemore-Jimenez mostly remained in his vehicle at that point, he again posed a threat that resulted in deputies shooting at him. According to a press release from the Utah County Sheriff's Office, "There was another exchange of gunfire."
"They would not have shot back at him if they did not believe there was the risk of death or serious bodily injury," Cannon said.
A Chevrolet Duramax carrying a man, woman and their four children was also hit during the shootout.
"The gunfire struck the pickup at the top of the rear window, a few inches above where the 4-year-old boy was seated in a child safety seat, and also in line with the father in the driver's seat. After this family realized they had been hit by gunfire, they checked to make sure their children were uninjured, then they called 911 and drove to a gas station on 1400 North off I-15 in Springville," Cannon said.
The investigation into whose bullets hit that vehicle was also ongoing Thursday.2 comments on this story
After he was arrested, investigators discovered "multiple firearms" in Gallemore-Jimenez's pickup truck and learned that he was wearing body armor, according to the sheriff's office.
Toxicology test results on Gallemore-Jimenez were pending Thursday. Sheriff's officials said he has a valid driver's license out of Kansas and a suspended driver's license out of Utah. He also has a criminal record in Utah "and at least six other states" for charges such as drug possession, DUI, burglary and resisting arrest, according to the sheriff's office.
The Utah County Attorney's Office will investigate the officer-involved shooting portion of the incident.