Suspect, Jose Garcia-Juaregui, dead after shootout with Utah and Juab County deputies

10:58 PM, Jan 31, 2014   |    comments
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(KUTV) The man accused in the violent rampage through Utah and Juab Counties--that took the life of one officer and wounded another---has died.

Jose Garcia-Juaregui was pronounced dead mid-afternoon Friday, roughly 24 hours after he was suspected of firing shots that killed Utah County Sheriff's Sergeant Cory Wride, and shooting Deputy Greg Sherwood.

Juaregui succumbed to injuries suffered in a gun fight with authorities at the end of the mayhem., Sheriff means investigators "may never know" the motive behind the attacks.

But it was not Juaregui's first brush with violence.

In 2007, he was arrested for attempted murder, in which he stabbed a man repeatedly with a screwdriver after a fight at a party.

Juaregui was convicted, but spent less than five years at the Utah State Prison, where he was disciplined for attacking another inmate.

Still, the Utah Board of Pardons released Juaregui in 2012, apparently thinking he might be held on a "detainer" by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.  But, in a statement issued Friday, the board determined Juaregui was not "deportable."

Just days ago, the board issued a warrant for his arrest, after a parole officer had difficulty reaching him. That warrant was in place at the time of the shooting spree.

Initially, investigators said Sgt. Wride was ambushed in his patrol car, but after viewing video from the officer's vehicle, they said Wride had stopped at the side of the road, approached Juaregui's pickup truck, and had a conversation.  The officer was on scene for about 20 minutes, according to Sheriff Tracy, before the back window of the truck slid open and the deadly shots were fired.

Tracy speculated Juaregui may have become increasingly nervous, while Wride tried to do a computer background check.

Meantime, a 17 year old girl who had been with Juaregui remained in custody, and officials called her a "person of interest"---a change from Thursday night when she was described as a suspect.  The girl has been given a lawyer, and may be cooperating with investigators.  It is unclear whether she will face charges, and if so, whether she might be charged as an adult.

Deputy Sherwood has reportedly made progress in the hospital.  He was grazed in the head by a bullet, as he gave chase---and has been awake and speaking since the ordeal.

Juaregui was also accused of firing shots at or near others, when he forcibly stole a vehicle---and of shooting at Juab County deputies in the gun battle that ultimately ended the terror.

By Brian Mullahy

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