Chief praises officers who detained gunman in crowded Moab restaurant

Chief praises officers who detained gunman in crowded Moab restaurant

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SALT LAKE CITY — Police in Moab subdued a gunman accused of firing at least one shot on the city's Main Street and then another as officers took him into custody.

Moab Police Chief Jim Winder called the incident that played out on the resort town's central street and a crowded restaurant "a very dynamic and dangerous situation." He went on to praise officers from his department and the Grand County Sheriff's Office for quickly and safely apprehending the man Tuesday night.

Police were called about 10:15 p.m. when Patrick Trujillo, who turns 32 on Thursday, fired at least one shot in front of a restaurant on Main Street, Winder said.

Officers from Moab and a Grand County sheriff's deputy tracked Trujillo to Club Rio, 2 S. 100 West, where patrons reported he was brandishing the gun and threatening them, Winder said.

Trujillo reached for the gun in his waistband as officers approached, Winder said, and "during the scuffle the individual actually fired one more round off inside of the very busy restaurant."

No one in the restaurant was hurt.

To prevent Trujillo from firing again, a deputy grabbed onto the handgun's slide mechanism and kept it from going off as police wrestled Trujillo to the ground, according to the chief.

Additional officers, including from the Utah Highway Patrol, arrived to help take Trujillo into custody. Investigators are looking into what may have prompted the incident.

Winder — who last month left his elected position as Salt Lake County sheriff for the job in Moab — emphasized that police in rural areas face situations that are just as dangerous as law enforcement in metropolitan areas, though less frequent, and must be prepared for any situation.

"This case, I think, is a clear example of how officers in our rural communities just are amazing in their collective efforts and also their individual acts of heroism," he said.

Trujillo was booked into the Grand County Jail for investigation of aggravated assault and weapons offenses.

A search of state court records did not reveal any prior convictions for Trujillo, but Winder said he has a criminal history in Colorado and appears to be a Colorado resident.

Contributing: Nick Wyatt

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