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PROVO — A man accused of shooting at police officers on I-15, hitting one bystander and a second vehicle, claims he had a "mental" hit list and that God wanted him to kill a police officer, according to court documents.
Arturo Gallemore-Jimenez, 37, of Clearfield, was shot by police following a shootout and freeway chase between Springville and Orem on Dec. 20. He was hospitalized for his injuries, then transferred to the Salt Lake County Jail on Dec. 22.
Gallemore was charged Friday in 4th District Court with three counts of attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony; theft, a second-degree felony; failing to stop at the command of an officer and possession of a firearm by a restricted person, third-degree felonies; drug possession, a class A misdemeanor; drug possession, a class B misdemeanor; and driving on a revoked license, a class C misdemeanor.
On Dec. 20, Gallemore locked himself out of his pickup truck at the Flying J gas station in Nephi. To get back into his car, Gallemore used a gun to shoot his window out, according to charging documents. Witnesses called police who spotted Gallemore's vehicle on I-15.
Due to his alleged erratic behavior and a shot being fired, five officers got into position to pull Gallemore over.
"An officer ordered (Gallemore) to keep his hands out the window and visible. The defendant complied at first, but then put his hands back in the vehicle. The defendant then pointed a gun out the window at the officers and fired at least three times," according to the charges.
After his arrest, Gallemore told investigators that if a single officer would have approached his car window at that point, he would have shot him, the charges say. He also said he was prepared to die.
"He stated he was pulled over in Springville and was prepared to shoot officers. He stated the officers were going to take him to jail and that he was not going to do that. Gallemore-Jimenez stated that if only one officer was there standing at his window, he would have taken his revolver and shot the officer, attempting to kill him. He stated he believed God would have put that officer in Gallemore-Jimenez's path to kill him," according to a police affidavit filed in 4th District Court.
Instead, Gallemore fired three rounds at the officers and drove away. Police returned fire at the vehicle and hit his two rear tires. Officers then followed Gallemore in a low-speed pursuit along I-15 into Orem.
"As the defendant approached an Orem exit, an officer fired at the defendant. The defendant lost control and crashed. Police took him into custody and found that he had been shot twice," the charges state.
The officer was standing outside of his patrol car that he was using to block the off-ramp to prevent Gallemore from exiting onto University Avenue.
Police say Gallemore was wearing a bullet-proof vest and had "a throwing knife in his wallet and multiple knives on his ankle," the charges state, in addition to "two firearms in the truck, a revolver and a shotgun." The truck he was driving was determined to be stolen out of Kansas, according to police.
During the initial exchange of gunfire near Springville, a 21-year-old Provo man was shot in the shoulder. That man had pulled off on the side of the freeway about 500 yards away putting fuel in his car that had run out of gas.
During the shooting near the University Parkway exit in Orem, a Chevrolet Duramax carrying a man, woman and their four children was also hit. A bullet went through the truck's back window, narrowly missing a 4-year-old boy in a car seat in the back and the father who was driving.
After his arrest, investigators learned Gallemore was also a person of interest in an attempted homicide out of Aurora, Colorado, about a day earlier.
"The detective in Aurora stated Gallemore-Jimenez is suspected in shooting someone three times in the back," the affidavit states.
According to charging documents, Gallemore further stated he "lent his truck to a man in Colorado. The man kept his truck longer than they had agreed upon so the defendant shot the man."
As detectives continued to investigate Gallemore after his arrest, they noted in the affidavit that he "is a violent individual."
"Gallemore-Jimenez stated he made a mental list of 13 people he was going to kill," according to the report.
"While looking at his public Facebook page, he posted one day prior to this incident that if any 'pigs, G’s, or anyone else' gets in his way, he would send souls to heaven," the affidavit says. "Gallemore-Jimenez is a danger to society and is willing to seriously injure or kill people by his own admission in his Facebook posts and by his efforts in this incident.
Gallemore also told police that while driving between Nephi and when he was first pulled over, he used methamphetamine, the charges state.
No charges were filed in connection to the shooting of the bystander and the second vehicle as investigators have not determined if those people were hit by bullets from Gallemore or from police.