Despite new details, questions remain in fatal Utah passerby shooting

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PROVO — A 26-year-old man shot and killed Monday in Provo continued to punch and bite a woman, then stomped on her head, after a passerby threatened to fire at him if he did not stop, Provo police said.

Officers released a more detailed picture Friday of the moments before the gunman, a white man in his 20's, fatally shot Jeremy Sorensen twice.

Sorensen, who was African-American, was laid to rest Friday in Orem about the same time detectives handed off their investigation to prosecutors, who will weigh criminal charges for the suspected shooter.

About 8 p.m. on Monday night, police said, Sorensen "ignored several clear verbal warnings" and continued to assault an 18-year-old acquaintance before she broke free and ran behind the gunman, who had been driving by and pulled over when he saw the two struggling in the driveway of an apartment complex.

"More verbal warnings were given," Provo police said on Twitter.

Detectives say Sorensen advanced toward the woman and the man with a gun, whose names have not been released.

"It was then that shots were fired," according to Provo police. Sorensen was struck twice, including once in the chest, and was rushed to a hospital where he later died. Police have not indicated how much time passed between the warnings and gunfire.

The woman was treated for a concussion and hip injuries consistent with being punched and kicked several times, police said earlier in the week.

Detectives "conducted numerous interviews," but the investigation continues, police said. They did not say how Sorensen and the woman knew each other.

Sorensen's family members have recalled him as a gentle person and suspected the acquaintance he injured is the same person they believe had been harassing him for about a year.

In 2016, court records show, Sorensen pleaded no contest to assault, a class A misdemeanor, after police said he threw two pans of beans at a co-worker at Del Taco in Orem, resisted arrest and threatened hospital staff when he was taken to be evaluated.

Utah County Attorney David Leavitt said Thursday he and his employees will carefully review the investigation. There is no deadline to file possible criminal charges.


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