Thief Killed During Failed Carjacking By Armed Citizen

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A concealed carry permit owner used his firearm to fatally shoot a 27-year-old man in the parking lot of an Orem, Utah grocery store this past Saturday during a carjacking attempt against a woman getting into her SUV.

Capt. Ned Jackson of the Orem Police Department said the man who shot the would-be carjacker, who did not wish to be identified at this point in the investigation, said he had stopped at the store to purchase food on his way to a planned target-shooting outing.

The identity of the deceased, who was also suspected of assaulting a woman earlier in the day, was not released.

The permit holder who ran the aid of the woman was only described as 31 years old who had parked near the woman’s SUV and heard her scream as she was being pulled her out of her Mercedes SUV. The shooting occurred around 11:20 am. Capt. Jackson said that:

“According to the citizen’s statement, the suspect starts to walk to the back of the car and lunges at him trying to grab the gun. The citizen shoots one round, shoots the suspect in the chest…”

Paramedics attempted to save the injured man’s life but he died at a hospital a short time later.

Jackson said it did not appear that the man who was shot was armed. Jackson said all of those involved were interviewed at the Orem Police Department Saturday afternoon and that police did not anticipate that the shooter would face charges although the altercation is still under investigation. Capt. Jackson said:

“He’s trying to assist this lady whose car is being stolen. He was fighting with her, he was trying to protect her. Then at the point the suspect comes to him and he’s trying to take the gun from him, then he’s trying to protect himself…”

In unrelated incidents that occurred earlier in the day, police received multiple calls regarding the man who was later shot and killed. 911 callers said a man had reportedly assaulted a woman and was driving about Orem with two passengers.

A short time later police said the man who was killed during the attempted carjacking had reportedly stolen a Ford pickup at a residence and that the owner chased the thief in another vehicle with Orem police in hot pursuit.

Through a translator, pickup owner Luis Zarate said a man on a bicycle stopped at his truck while Zarate was doing some yardwork. Suspicious, Zarate called out to him. At that point, the man dismounted the bike, entered the truck with the keys inside and drove away.

Zarate and members of his landscaping crew gave chase and called police during the pursuit. The man drove the stolen pickup into the Macey’s grocery store parking lot at 880 N. State Street where he exited the truck and attempted to carjack the SUV. At that point he was fatally wounded, police said.
Police said there were several outstanding felony warrants for the attempted carjacker and that the fear of getting caught may have been why the situation escalated from crime to crime throughout the day.

Morgan Mayhew
Morgan is a freelance writer for a variety of publications covering popular culture, societal behavior and the political influences of each.