HERRIMAN — After a tense day of searching, police still do not have a suspect in custody nor a motive for a Saturday morning shooting that put many Herriman residents on edge, told to stay locked in their homes.
Shelter-in-place warnings issued to Herriman and Riverton residents were lifted Saturday afternoon even as police continued to search for the gunman who opened fire on an officer and shot a homeowner before stealing his car early in the morning.
Unified Police Lt. Brian Lohrke said Saturday night that police don't have solid information so far about a possible motive.
"We've got to talk to (the suspect) first," Lohrke said.
Unified police identified the man being sought as 33-year-old Justin Gary Llewelyn of Riverton.
According to Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera, a police officer heading home around 6 a.m. noticed a suspicious person near Monarch Meadows Apartments near 13400 South 4500 West and was shot at when he made contact with him. A foot chase ensued, but the gunman was able to flee and minutes later broke into a unit at the complex, where he shot the resident and took his car.
The homeowner who was shot was transported to a hospital in critical condition but upgraded to good condition Saturday afternoon.
"He's upgraded and he's going to be OK and we are really happy about that," Rivera said.
The officer was not injured, Rivera said.
Police later located the stolen car abandoned near Blackridge Reservoir.
Police initially set up a four-mile search radius and sent reverse-911 calls to residents of Herriman and Riverton who live between Mountain View Corridor to Rose Crest Road and Blackridge Reservoir and 13400 South, asking to shelter in place.
The shelter-in-place order was narrowed just after 1 p.m. to the area bordered by Elk Horn Peak Drive, Lewiston Peak Drive, Shaggy Peak Drive and parts of Van Scott Peak Drive, which area also includes Butterfield Peak, Lowe Peak, New Peak, Ensign Peak and Lewiston Peak circles, according to the Unified Police Department.
Around 4:45 p.m., the shelter-in-place order for that smaller area was also lifted, but the search continued.
Rivera held an afternoon press conference in which she asked Llewelyn to turn himself in.
"Justin, if you're out there listening to this, this is Sheriff Rivera. We are asking you to call us, turn yourself in. We want to make sure nobody else is injured or hurt as part of this situation," Rivera said.
Rivera had urged residents to contact police if they see anyone who does not belong in their neighborhood and to not confront him.
"He shot at officers, he probably will not hesitate to shoot any other people," Rivera said.
Lohrke didn't have any additional information to release about Llewelyn's possible whereabouts or appearance.
Multiple police agencies from the valley were involved in the manhunt, and several police K-9 units had been deployed. Rivera said reports of gunshots fired in various locations in the area later in the morning were unfounded.
A Department of Public Safety helicopter joined the ongoing manhunt just after noon.
Rivera also asked residents who have security cameras to review footage beginning at around 6 a.m. to see if any suspicious activity was caught on film. If so, they should call Unified police at 801-743-7000. Tipsters may remain anonymous.
Earlier in the day, Herriman Mayor David Watts thanked the police for their quick response, and repeated the sheriff's warnings for residents to be vigilant.
"Please stay inside. Please keep your doors locked. Do not answer you door for" any suspicious person, Watts said Saturday morning, at the time urging residents not be outside even to shovel the snow.
If people needed to leave their home for an emergency, police were available to escort them, the sheriff noted.
Jacob Lewis, who lives next door to the homeowner who was shot, said the incident "makes me sick to my stomach."
"He was running from the apartments ... usually people turn right, my house is off to the right, and my kids are asleep downstairs, I would have had no way of knowing right off the bat, instead he turned left," Lewis said. "It's amazing the luck."
Lewis said the area has been plagued recently with car burglaries, with thieves going car-to-car looking for unlocked vehicles to steal from.2 comments on this story
Though a police car is sitting near his house, Lewis is still shaken by the incident.
"The fear that I have is that he's broken into somebody else's house and he's holding them hostage," he said. "That could have been us."
A search of court records shows Llewelyn has an extensive criminal history, with prior convictions for aggravated assault, attempted aggravated assault, felony drug possession, DUI, burglary of a vehicle, joyriding, theft by deception, retail theft, attempted theft, joyriding, and several other offenses.
Contributing: Alex Cabrero