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Police: Man kills ex-girlfriend in Utah, dies after chase


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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A Utah man died following a police chase and shooting after he shot and killed an ex-girlfriend who had a restraining order against him, authorities said.

It was unclear if he was killed by the officers or took his own life.

Sue Ann Sands, 39, stepped away from her job to meet with James Dean Smith, 33, shortly before she made a panicked call to police Sunday reporting saying that shots were being fired at her car, police said.

"She was frantic and screaming," Utah County sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said.

Sands drove away, but Smith followed her a Wal-Mart parking lot, rammed her car and fired again, this time hitting her in the head, said police in American Fork, about 30 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Police tracked Smith using witness reports. He led officers on a chase before stopping outside a nearby movie theater and getting out, American Fork police Lt. Gregg Ludlow said.

Officers fired when he refused to drop the weapon, Ludlow said.

Smith died at the scene. No lawyer or publicly listed phone number was available for him on Monday.

Sands appeared to be walking outside for a break shortly before her death, Ludlow said. She got into her car and drove to another business a couple blocks away to meet Smith, who she'd lived with during their relationship, he said in a news release. Witnesses reported hearing shots shortly afterward.

Smith had been served with a protective order about two weeks before Sands' death, Ludlow said. He was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence alcohol the day he was served.

Police were investigating a report from one of her relatives that Smith may have broken a car window and followed the relative on Nov. 22, two days after the order was granted.

Ludlow couldn't immediately say whether police had previously responded to reports of violence involving the onetime couple.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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LINDSAY WHITEHURST

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