OREM — A low-speed police chase and shootout on northbound I-15 Wednesday evening resulted in an injured bystander, according to highway patrol officials.
The innocent driver was struck in the shoulder by a bullet as Utah County Sheriff’s deputies exchanged gunfire with a man they were pursuing.
The incident originated in Nephi at about 6 p.m. when officials received a report of a man who fired a gun at a gas station, according to Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Cannon. Approximately 30 minutes later, deputies located the man’s vehicle in Springville and attempted to pull him over, but the man did not stop and fired shots at the officers. The deputies returned gunfire and a low-speed chase ensued.
More gunfire was exchanged during the pursuit on I-15, which resulted in a motorist being hit by a bullet. The man officers were after was also shot, ending the pursuit in Orem, Cannon said.
The man in police custody, later identified as Arturo Gallemore-Jimenez, 37, was transported to a nearby hospital with several gunshot wounds. No deputies were injured in the incident.
The innocent motorist is expected to be OK, according to Cannon. Investigators are still trying to determine whether the bullet that hit the individual came from a deputy’s firearm or from Gallemore-Jimenez's firearm.
BREAKING: Innocent motorist hit in shoulder by gunfire while driving during shoot out between Utah Co. Sheriff deputies and suspect. @KSL5TV— Nicole Vowell (@NicoleVowellKSL) December 21, 2017
A vehicle carrying a man, a woman and their four children was also hit by gunfire during the pursuit but no one in the car was injured, Cannon confirmed.
Officials do not yet know what motivated Gallemore-Jimenez, but Cannon confirmed he was wearing body armor, including a bulletproof vest.
“(He) likely anticipated a confrontation with law enforcement,” Cannon said.
Troopers temporarily closed I-15 northbound entrances at Center Street in Provo and University Parkway in Orem. A portion of the freeway was also closed near 400 South in Springville while officials investigated.
Contributing: Nicole Vowell
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show the second vehicle that was hit by gunfire was carrying a man, a woman and their four children and not a man and his 4-year-old son.