LEHI, Utah — Southbound lanes of I-15 were closed Monday morning following a road rage incident and shooting in which two people were wounded. It happened near the Main Street exit in Lehi.
Road rage incident and shots fired
I-15 was closed until shortly after 9:30 as law enforcement gathered evidence in the shooting.
Utah Highway Patrol’s Lieutenant Nick Street says they don’t believe the occupants of the two vehicles knew each other or were connected in anyway prior to the road rage incident.
It’s unknown if shots were fired prior to the two vehicles colliding and crashing or if the gunfire happened following the crash, however, Street believes the two vehicles kept going well after they had made contact. It’s possible the road rage started in Salt Lake County but ended half a dozen miles later in Utah County.
“A collision at some point occurred and shots fired also occurred at some point,” explains Lieutenant Street. “They either made contact and shots were fired or shots were fired and they made contact.”
Two people injured and a suspect in custody
The individual believed to have fired a weapon was driving alone in a black vehicle. His shots were directed at a white truck that had five people inside.
One of the victims was originally listed in critical condition.
“[He] is since stable and is in surgery,” he explains. “They expect him to be OK.”
The other victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Update from @UTHighwayPatrol about a road rage incident this morning on SB I-15 in Lehi near the Main St. exit. Shots fired, two individuals injured. Suspect in custody and cooperating. Latest on @kslnewsradio 🚨🚨 pic.twitter.com/21HO8P8NB7
— John Wojcik (@JWojcikKSL) January 25, 2021
Officers say the suspected shooter remained on-scene, is currently in custody and has been cooperating with the investigation.
Lieutenant Street adds that violent road rage incidents have unfortunately become all too common on Utah roads.
“In 2020 we had right around 31 aggravated assault charges screened for brandishing and road rage,” he explains. “In 2019, that number was 16.”
Street says troopers working near Beaver County are reporting seven to eight brandishing cases, just recently.
“They had the firearm and admitted to showing the firearm. There were differing reasons why but what people don’t understand is that that is an aggravated assault,” according to Street.
Investigators say if someone confronts you while your driving, you should get away from that person, immediately. Street says you should either slow down or exit the freeway, completely, adding that if you engage in the confrontation, it will only lead to trouble.
“It’s going to result in some sort of verbal altercation or a continued altercation on our roads, put other people in danger,” Street says. “As a trooper, when I investigated these incidents and people told me, ‘There was nothing I could do,’ that’s hard for me to believe.”
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