A 31-year-old concealed carrier is being hailed as a hero in Orem, Utah, after stepping in to stop an attempted carjacking committed by a man with felony warrants who was attempting to escape from police.
The incident started when police were called to the report of a fight, and five suspects—three men and two women—fled in a vehicle, nearly striking a pedestrian as they drove across a grassy area as they made their escape. The vehicle stopped a short distance away after striking a curb, and four suspects fled on foot, while the fifth stole a pickup truck from a nearby home. The truck thief then drove to a nearby store and attempted to carjack a more suitable getaway vehicle:
“Subject gets out of the truck, goes over and pulls the lady out of the silver Mercedes, starts to get in the car, she’s screaming for help,” said Captain Ned Jackson of the Orem Police Department.
The suspect attempted to carjack the woman in a Mercedes at about 11:18 a.m., and that’s when a shopper, so far only identified as a 31-year-old male, confronted the suspect.
“Our citizen goes up at gun point, has him get out of the car, the guy gets out of the car,” Jackson said. “The suspect lunged and tried to get the gun from him, so at that point he’s trying to protect himself and shoots the gentleman.”
Police said the shopper, who had a concealed carry permit, was threatened and fired his weapon.
The suspect, who police have not yet identified, suffered a single gunshot wound and was transported to Utah Valley Hospital, where he died from his injuries.
Police say the man had several felony warrants. Officers are actively searching for the other two suspects involved in the original incident.
The man who shot and killed the attempted carjacker will not face charges. Under Utah law citizens are justified in stopping criminals attempting a forcible felony.
The carjacker should have surrendered to the concealed carrier or simply run off, at which point the concealed carrier would have simply had to let him go. The criminal obviously wasn’t that smart, however, and attempted to disarm the concealed carrier, which turned out to be his final mistake.
As the case in on-going and two of the males suspects who fled the fight (and cravenly ditched their women) are still being actively sought.
The woman whom the suspect tried to carjack was not injured.