Sgt. Cory Wride of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office was killed Thursday afternoon by a man wielding a high-powered rifle. Another deputy was critically wounded when the suspect opened fire during a high-speed pursuit.
Authorities say Wride was ambushed about 1 p.m. as he stopped to check on a vehicle abandoned on the side of Highway 73 between Eagle Mountain and Cedar Fort.
Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy told the Salt Lake Tribune Wride, 44, never had a chance to exit his vehicle before he was fatally shot.
Wride’s body was discovered by deputies who were sent to the scene after dispatch could not reach the sergeant on the radio.
The suspect fled south following the shooting. His car was spotted by Dep. Greg Sherwood who pursued at high speed. Authorities say that during the pursuit, the suspect opened fire, hitting Sherwood, 38, in the head.
Sherwood was rushed to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. He is listed as critical but Tracy told reporters that his prognosis was good.
Reports say the suspect continued traveling south and wrecked his car in the Nephi area. He then stole a vehicle at gunpoint.
In the stolen vehicle, the suspect fled south on Interstate 15, where he wrecked again. Reports say he was then engaged by Juab County Sheriff’s deputies. The deputies opened fire on the suspect who was critically wounded.
The suspect has not been identified. Authorities have said he has a “significant criminal history.”
Tracy told the Tribune the investigation covers four different crime scenes. And all were being worked by a variety of agencies Thursday night.
Sgt. Wride was married with two children and three stepchildren. He was a 19-year veteran of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.