The unidentified man was shot and killed after a high-speed chase that began in Colorado, on McElmo Canyon Road between Cortez and Aneth, and ended in Utah, just a short distance from the state border.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating the incident.
According to the Cortez Journal, the man was an occupant in a vehicle that was pulled over by a Montezuma County Sheriff’s Deputy for having suspicious license plates. There were three people in the passenger car.
The vehicle fled as the officer approached and shots were fired at the officer. A high-speed chase ensued for about ten miles through the canyon before there was a blown tire on the vehicle.
The Cortez Journal reports that the driver of the vehicle parked in the middle of the road and came out with his hands up. The car subsequently rolled off the road and into some bushes, where it sparked a brush fire.
The Journal states that the man continued to fire at the officer from the vehicle. The officer returned fire and hit him. He died at the scene.
The other two occupants of the car were arrested.
The Sheriff’s Deputy has been placed on leave pending the investigation.
The Journal reports that the sheriff’s vehicle was “shot up”.
As often happens in the area, there is a jurisdictional challenge for the investigation. The shooting occurred in San Juan County, Utah and involved a Colorado deputy and a Native American suspect. It was on private land which is surrounded by the Navajo Nation.
The FBI eventually assumed responsibility for the investigation.
The other jurisdictional challenge is providing information to local residents. Five days after the event, the FBI is still not releasing any information about the event, including the name of the man.
A local resident was killed by a police officer from a neighboring state and no information is released about the incident.
Officers from San Juan County and the City of Blanding were on the way to the incident, which was resolved before they arrived.