Weekend shooting suspect caught after Utah County police chase

14 photos
Save Story

Show 2 more videos

Leer en español

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

SPANISH FORK — A shooting suspect who eluded detectives for five days led them on a chase from Provo to Spanish Fork, crashing into a police car before his arrest on Main Street Wednesday afternoon.

Detectives had been searching for Justin Gary Llewelyn, 33, since Saturday, calling him "armed and extremely dangerous." They say he fired at police officers and shot another man early that morning near the Riverton-Herriman border.

Law enforcement leaders from Salt Lake and Utah counties said Wednesday that they were breathing a sigh of relief for the first time since Saturday.

"It really created a panic in the community, so I'm really happy we took him off the street," said Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera.

On Wednesday, a Utah County sheriff's deputy and Llewelyn both were injured in the roughly 10-mile chase that ended in Spanish Fork, a spokesman for the Utah County Sheriff's Office said. Their injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Llewelyn was driving a stolen gray pickup truck and was leaving a park in Provo Wednesday afternoon when Unified police detectives spotted him, said Unified Lt. Brian Lohrke.

Utah County sheriff's deputies were listening to the pursuit on their radios after other law enforcers told them Llewelyn may have been in the area, Utah County Sheriff's Lt. Erik Knutzen said in a news conference.

A Utah County sheriff's deputy was in Spanish Fork when he saw the truck in oncoming traffic, Knutzen said.

"He saw an opportunity to turn and clip the back end, just to slide and potentially end the pursuit," Knutzen said. The truck then slammed into a parked tow truck, Knutzen said. The officer was transported to the hospital but had no broken bones, just cuts and bruises.

"He'll be fine," Knutzen said. He did not give information about Llewelyn's injuries.

On Saturday about 6 a.m., police allege Llewelyn shot at two Unified officers who had sought to question him. The officers returned fire on the street near the Monarch Meadows town homes.

Police have arrested Justin Llewelyn, the man wanted in connection with a Riverton shooting on Saturday that led to a five-day manhunt. (Photo: Spenser Heaps, KSL)
Police have arrested Justin Llewelyn, the man wanted in connection with a Riverton shooting on Saturday that led to a five-day manhunt. (Photo: Spenser Heaps, KSL)

He then broke into a nearby home, shot a man and took his car, according to Salt Lake City police, who were handling the investigation. The homeowner had been shot twice, in the chest and abdomen, but is home from the hospital, he said Wednesday.

Police led a manhunt in Herriman and searched at least two homes belonging to Llewelyn's relatives who live in the area.

Earlier in the week, social media stoked panic among Herriman residents and nearby communities, Rivera said. Several people wrote online that they had leads on the suspect's whereabouts, though the information was not credible, Rivera said.

Police have made other arrests in the case. On Tuesday, officers took into custody two women who share Llewelyn's last name.

Tasha Llewelyn, 50, and Misty Llewelyn, 24, both of Riverton, were taken to Salt Lake County Jail late Tuesday, though they had bonded out of jail by Wednesday evening. Police believe they lied to detectives about the case.

Information obtained from telephone search warrants Tuesday showed that both women "knew about the suspect's involvement in this crime and took steps to be untruthful" with police Saturday, according to probable cause statements.

Police did not say if they were related to the alleged gunman.

Before his capture, Llewelyn was considered "armed and extremely dangerous," Salt Lake City police said.

He has a criminal history over the past 15 years with prior convictions for aggravated assault, attempted aggravated assault, felony drug possession, DUI, burglary of a vehicle, joyriding, theft by deception, retail theft, attempted theft and several other offenses, according to court records.

Contributing: Alex Cabrero, Paul Nelson, Nicole Vowell


Related stories

Most recent Utah stories

Related topics



Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the KSL.com Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast