A Utah sheriff’s deputy was killed during a shootout on Thursday, and the motive for the seemingly senseless killing may now never be known.
Suspect Jose Angel Garcia-Juaregui died on Friday after gunning down Sgt. Cory Wride, who was remembered as a long-serving officer and father to five children.
Garcia-Juaregui was accused of going on a 2 ½-hour crime spree on Thursday that included ambushing the deputy before carjacking a vehicle with a mother and toddler inside. After driving the stolen car for 50 miles, the 27-year-old was finally stopped by four police officers, leading to a shootout.
After killing Utah sheriff’s deputy Sgt. Cory Wride, Garcia-Juaregui himself was shot. He never regained consciousness before dying on Thursday, never giving detectives a chance to interview him or learn the motives for his attack.
Though the reasons may never be known, Utah police officers said it was clear the fugitive was determined to go down fighting.
“This individual clearly was not going to be taken without a fight,” Utah County Jim Tracy said. “He shot at anything and everything that moved.”
After the killing, Wride was remembered as a dedicated police officer and father.
“He was a guy who had a wife and five kids and a full-time law enforcement officer, and thought enough to be involved in his community, too, in politics. That is a public servant of the highest level,” said Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart.
Garcia-Juaregui had a long history of problems with the law. He served more than four years for attempted homicide and was paroled from a Utah state prison in December 2012.
“We’re pretty sure he became increasingly nervous that he was going to be found out,” Tracy said. “At some point, he must have made a determination that he was going to be caught, and he knew the consequences would be a return to prison.”
Family and friends of the Utah sheriff’s deputy killed in Thursday’s shooting have started a fund to help pay for funeral expenses.