South Jordan officer’s injuries in ‘potentially fatal’ basement shooting

A South Jordanian police officer suffered a ruptured femoral artery and fractured his femur when he was injured in a shootout with a 29-year-old man last week, court records show.

The shooting happened around 8pm on Friday when a sergeant and two officers were monitoring a car theft at a home on Tarali Court, a residential area near Bingham High School.

Residents of the home allowed the group of officers to enter, police said. When they searched for the suspect – identified as Malui Salesi Vehikite – in a basement bedroom, they found him holding a gun and walking backwards down a hallway. They could hear him say “no” or “no,” according to a probable cause statement.

The sergeant then heard gunshots and saw a nearby officer fall to the floor with a leg wound.

According to the probable cause statement, police camera footage shows Vehikite coming out of a basement room, pointing a gun at the first officer, and opening fire. The officer returned fire. As Vehikite walked up the stairs, the footage “clearly captured” him pointing the gun at the second officer, who also shot at him, court records said.

The sergeant said he later heard more gunshots and found Vehikite on a flight of stairs, state records show. He was shot several times. Vehikite was treated for his injuries at the scene, then taken to hospital.

The sergeant put the tourniquet on the leg of the wounded officer, who was also hospitalized. According to the probable cause statement, the officer’s injuries were “potentially fatal” if not treated immediately.

The names of the officers involved in Friday’s shooting have yet to be released. It marked the 28th police shooting this year in Utah; 29th police shooting happened two days later in Orem.

Pending formal charges, Vehikite is being investigated for aggravated homicide, aggravated assault, possession of a dangerous weapon by a restrained person, and felony shooting. Police said he had four felony warrants for his arrest at the time of the shooting.

Both Vehikite and the injured officer remain in hospital. Police continue to investigate. South Jordan officer’s injuries in ‘potentially fatal’ basement shooting

Yasmin Harisha

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