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John Daley ReportingA Utah prison inmate is back in jail after he allegedly shot and killed a corrections officer while at the University of Utah for a medical exam.
The inmate was at the University Orthopaedic Center for an exam at about 7:45 Monday morning, alone in a room with a corrections officer. Somehow, he stole the gun of that corrections officer, Stephen Anderson, shot and killed him. Exactly how that happened is unclear.
The heavily-tattooed 27-year-old Curtis Allgier was there for an MRI. He had complained of lower back pain. The procedure requires an officer to replace the prisoner's metal restraints with a plastic "flex cuff." This time, something went wrong.
Tom Patterson, Director of the Utah Department of Corrections, says, "They were sequestered in an examination room, which was immediately next to one of the MRI machines. Some sort of an altercation occurred. The suspect was able to get the guard's weapon away from him and at least one shot was fired."
Sixty-year-old Stephen Anderson, a 22-year veteran, died from a shot in the head.
Allgier fled, carjacking a Ford Explorer, taking police on a chase on I-80, I-15, I-215 and S.R.201. The chase reached speeds of 100 miles per hour. When police spiked the car's tires, Allgier ran into an Arby's at 1700 South and Redwood Road.
Ted Tafoya witnessed the chase and says, "It was crazy, he got away like that. Some guy shot somebody at the University and he came over here and tried to barricade himself inside the Arby's."
Inside, a 59-year-old customer wrestled the gun away. Allgier was not armed when police captured him inside the manager's office.
A lot of people saw all of this happen. They say it was pretty scary. One witness said, "[I] Saw a black SUV come up here down this road right here, he pulled in right here, came in, back tire was blown out on the right side. He was just squealing the rims."
Another witness said, "I got here as soon as the cops all pulled up and they surrounded the building and everything."
A third witness said, "Just when we exit the door, I heard a popping noise. I thought it was a firecracker. I thought nothing of it. And next thing I know police officers coming from all different directions into the parking lot. And police officers were yelling at us, ‘duck down, duck down.' So we fell down to the ground next to the car."
According to Salt Lake City Police, an employee was injured; he was hit by something, but it was not a bullet. He was treated and he is expected to be OK.
Salt Lake Police spokesman, Rich Brede, said, "We're very fortunate with the access of victims there, that it didn't go sideways on us. So we're grateful for that."
Allgier was in prison on a parole violation. His criminal record includes burglary, forgery and at least one weapons crime.
He was identified as Utah's Public Enemy Number One for violating parole last year before he was captured. He had previously been arrested for carrying a concealed, dangerous weapon and for escaping official custody.
Yesterday's shooting prompted a prison lockdown, which this morning is still in effect. Department of Corrections spokesman Jack Ford says offenders at the Utah State Prison and Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison are on lockdown, and visitors are not allowed. Any inmate transport will take place only for an emergency. Prison officials told us this morning, there is no set time to end the lockdown.