Police: Man shot at vehicles during manhunt, active shooter situation near Zion National Park

Witnesses told St. George News that a person shot at multiple vehicles on state Route 9 south of Zion National Park on Wednesday. (Ron Chaffin, St. George News)


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ROCKVILLE, Washington County — Police say a man shot at vehicles along state Route 9 while leading officers on a chase and manhunt in an active shooter situation near Zion National Park on Wednesday afternoon.

The man was later located in the town of Rockville, southwest of the park, and had been wounded from an apparent gunshot, according to police. He was taken to St. George Regional Hospital, but his condition was unknown as of Wednesday evening. The man has not been identified.

The situation began about 3:41 p.m. Wednesday when officers responded to a report of a man who brandished a handgun during an argument in Hurricane, according to a news release from the Washington County Critical Incident Task Force. Police found the man, who was driving a silver Ford pickup truck, nearby and tried to pull him over, but he drove away.

While officers pursued the man eastbound on S.R. 9, he began shooting at other vehicles on the freeway, according to the release. Police earlier on Wednesday alerted the public to the active shooter situation, and photos taken later at the scene showed cars with broken windows from the gunshots.

Officers tried to disable the man's truck by using spike strips, but he continued driving through the area, exchanging gunfire with police, the news release said. He then drove into the town of Rockville, where he crashed.

After crashing, the man got out of the truck and exchanged more gunfire with officers before running off into a residential neighborhood, police said.

Officers from multiple state, federal and local law enforcement agencies, as well as a SWAT team, responded to the area to help search for the man.

Police located the wounded man about 6:15 p.m., and he was then taken to a hospital. It is not clear how the man got injured.

No other injuries were reported, according to Springdale Mayor Stan Smith.

The Washington County Critical Incident Task Force is investigating the incident, as is standard procedure for incidents when officers fire shots, the news release said. Police did not say how many officers fired shots during the incident, or if any were placed on administrative leave.

The investigation was still in the early stages on Wednesday evening and is expected to continue throughout the night. Investigators are also asking any victims in the incident who haven't spoken with police yet to call emergency dispatchers at 435-634-5730.

Earlier Wednesday, residents were asked to shelter in place and avoid the Rockville area. As of 7 p.m, S.R. 9 had reopened and traffic was slowly moving in the area, police said. Drivers should expect delays and some other road closures in the area as there is still an active crime scene, police said.

By 8:30 p.m., heavy traffic delays were still being reported in the area, and drivers were being asked to use an alternate route, according to the Utah Department of Transportation.

Authorities said more information about the incident would likely be released Thursday.

Contributing: Marc Weaver

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