Manhunt Ends with Man Dead in Paraglider Crash

Manhunt Ends with Man Dead in Paraglider Crash

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Sam Penrod ReportingA man shot at his wife in Eagle Mountain, then took off in an ultralight paraglider and crashed 10 miles away. The man died in the crash in a field near several homes in American Fork.

The biggest concern now is trying to find a loaded .357 Smith and Wesson handgun that the suspect had with him. It's missing, so the SWAT team is searching for it at the crash site, the nearby Tri City Golf Course and the neighborhood. It's the last clue in a very strange case of domestic violence.

The situation began in Eagle Mountain around 5:30, when the man fired a shot at his wife. She was not hurt. The 42-year-old suspect, who police believe was intoxicated, then took off in a powered ultralight paraglider. It prompted an intense search by the SWAT team, for nearly an hour. Ten miles away in American Fork, a paraglider came crashing down.

Sean Husbands witnessed the crash. He said, "He was behind the churches in that field and he landed, and it looked like he landed just fine. And the parachute came up, and it crashed all over the place."

Kyle Anderson said, "The hang glider came in low but was in the trees so I didn't hear anything. I kind of heard a pop, too, as he was coming around."

Investigators are not saying if the suspect died from the impact of the paraglider crash or if he shot himself while still in the air. There are reports the paraglider's engine had stopped while over the 13th green at the golf course and crashed seconds later.

Neighbors came pouring out of their homes to see what was happening and were surprised to learn a paraglider had crashed in the neighborhood. They were shocked to find out the man had a gun. Now officers are asking neighbors to search their property for the gun.

Lt. Dennis Harris, with the Utah County Sheriff's Office, said, "If they could actually go outside in this general area, we don't want some child to walk outside and find the gun, they are welcome to contact dispatch."

Again, if anyone finds the gun, a silver Smith and Wesson handgun with a wooden handle, don't touch it and call 911.

The suspect has not been identified, except he is a 42-year-old man.

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