BEAVER — Troopers found drugs and a gun inside a car that was being driven by a Colorado man who fled from a traffic stop and shot at officers on Monday evening, causing an hourslong manhunt and freeway shutdown in Beaver County, authorities say.
A Utah Highway Patrol sergeant said he tried to stop a vehicle northbound on I-15 near Beaver at 5:13 p.m. that was driving at least 100 mph in an 80 mph zone.
The vehicle drove off and the trooper pursued, with the chase reaching speeds of up to 118 miles per hour, according to a Beaver County Sheriff's Office affidavit. The car took an exit, went through the stop sign at the end of the off-ramp and got back on the freeway before stopping in a median shortly after, the affidavit said.
The driver got out of the vehicle and ran away, crossing the southbound lanes of traffic, troopers said. The man, later identified as William J. Brooks, of Denver, according to UHP Sgt. Cameron Roden, then ran into the foothills west of I-15, police said.
Two passengers in the vehicle — later identified by police as 43-year-old John Gow, of Aurora, Colorado, and 38-year-old Tammy Marie Emanuel, of Parker, Colorado — were taken into custody by the UHP sergeant and a Beaver County sheriff's deputy, the UHP said. The pair, who are husband and wife, stayed in the car and surrendered to troopers without incident, according to police booking affidavits.
Meanwhile, more than 50 officers from six different agencies responded to help with the search for the driver of the car. The Statewide Information and Analysis Center and State Bureau of Investigation were also called in to gather information about the man who had fled and to interview Gow and Emanuel.
Two police canine teams were also deployed with a Department of Public Safety helicopter. As those teams worked, Brooks began firing rounds from a handgun at them from a "concealed and undetermined location," the UHP said.
The canine teams then pulled out of the area and tactical teams were called in to help find Brooks, along with the Division of Public Safety Aero Bureau, police said.
The canine team members "reported that they could hear the bullets zipping by them and saw bullets impacting the ground near them," according to an arrest report.
Tactical teams from multiple agencies, including as far south as St. George, responded. The crew in the helicopter used thermal cameras to locate Brooks, who was hiding in some brush near where the canine team had been shot at, the arrest report said.
"The DPS flight crew was able to quickly pinpoint the suspect's location and the tactical teams put a plan in motion to apprehend him. Tactical teams made contact with the suspect and began challenging him," troopers said.
The helicopter crew reported that Brooks then began firing shots at the helicopter, according to the arrest report. Law enforcement officers then used a robotic vehicle to drive toward Brooks and order him to surrender, but he fired into the surrounding brush and then began walking back toward I-15, police said. He fired shots at least six different officers, according to the report.
Brooks eventually surrendered without additional incident and was arrested, police said.
"The suspect claimed there must have been someone else shooting at the officers because it wasn't him," the arrest report said.
Brooks was booked into Beaver County Jail for investigation of multiple felonies including assaulting a peace officer and possession of a controlled substance, according to jail records. There was also a warrant out for his arrest, jail records indicate.
Brooks has previously been convicted of multiple felonies and was a wanted parole fugitive, the arrest report said.
After Brooks was arrested, troopers recovered a Glock handgun with no more bullets in the magazine, the arrest report said. Investigators later discovered the gun had been reported stolen out of Castle Rock, Colorado, in August.
Police also recovered drugs, drug paraphernalia and jewelry after arresting Brooks, the report said. They also found two ID cards in Brooks' wallet for other people, as well as a debit card belonging to someone else, police said. Police haven't yet contacted those people to determine if they have any connection to Brooks.
Update on the UHP incident near Beaver Utah. The suspect who fled from troopers on foot has been taken into custody. Great team work and coordination by state, county, and local agencies. We are working on opening I-15 but it may take some additional time. @UTHighwayPatrol— Jeff Nigbur (@MajorNigburUHP) September 14, 2021
The booking affidavits for Gow and Emanuel show the car involved in the incident belongs to Emanuel, who was in the back seat when troopers pulled it over. Gow was in the front passenger seat of the car.
When Gow and Emanuel were being taken into custody, a trooper noticed substances suspected to be marijuana and methamphetamine, as well as drug paraphernalia, in the car, according to an affidavit. Troopers later found substances suspected to be heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, ketamine and MDMA in the car, as well as a marijuana pipe and several syringes, and a handgun, the documents say.
Gow and Emanuel both told troopers they had been using meth during the trip. Emanuel also told troopers she had been using cocaine during the trip. The pair was booked into the Beaver County Jail for investigation of misdemeanor drug offenses, according to jail records.
During the search, sections of I-15 were closed in the area Monday night. The road reopened about midnight.
"This event was a great demonstration of good multiagency coordination to end a bad situation with the best possible outcome. No officers or suspects were injured," troopers said.
Contributing: Alex Cabrero