Manhunt continues for suspects in robbery, police shootout

Posted at 8:31 PM, Jan 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-07 23:59:56-05

MURRAY, Utah -- Police are still searching for a woman and another suspect who are accused of shooting at an officer after an armed robbery in Murray Saturday evening.

Officers are actively searching for 40-year-old Sandra Chotia-Thompson, who allegedly drove the person who held up a restaurant called Scaddy's Fresh Grill, 5430 S 900 E, at about 6:30 p.m.

The suspect in that robbery was described as wearing fake glasses, nose and mustache, plus a topcoat and top hat.

According to police, a short time later, a Murray Police officer saw someone with the suspect description entering a Family Dollar store near 6200 South and 1300 East.

"One of the officers was here in the area. He noticed a male walking into the Family Dollar store that fit the description of the same person who did the robbery at Scaddy's," said Murray Police Lt. Tom Martin.

The officer went inside the store to confront the suspect, who fled outside, firing several shots at the officer in the process. The officer returned fire, hitting the getaway vehicle on the next road over.

"As the suspect approached that car, he fired at least three shots at our officer, the officer returned fire," Martin said.

The incident occurred near the home of Louise Gibbons, who spoke to FOX 13 News about it Monday. Gibbons, who was lived in that home for more than 50 years, said she has never seen anything like it happen in her neighborhood.

"A little after 6:30, I noticed we heard the gunshots. And I went to the window, of course, to see, and my husband said 'Don't do that. Get down. Close the drapes'," Gibbons said. "We saw all the red flashing inside the car and then the lights went out. And then my husband saw two people jump out of the car and run south here at the intersection. And then all of the police cars rolled up and sirens and flashing lights. It was pretty crazy."

Some of the rounds that were fired came within feet of Gibbons' house. Shortly after, the suspects carjacked another vehicle and fled.

Gibbons said a police officer ran to their home to check on them.

"He said 'I just want to check on you folks to see if you're okay.' I said 'Well, yeah. We're okay. Are you okay?' and he was just shaking like crazy. And he said 'I've just been shot at," Gibbons said.

Police say the situation could have been much worse.

"It's a scary situation. It's dangerous for not only the officer but everybody around," said Murray Police Officer Kenny Bass. "It could have been tragic. It started off extremely dangerous. The entire thing is scary, really."

The suspect vehicle is a silver 2010 Dodge Caliber with Utah license plate B95 6JL.

Police were able to identify Chotia-Thompson because she is somehow related to the abandoned getaway vehicle, although Bass wasn't able to specify that relationship.

The male suspect is described as white, about 5-foot, 9-inches tall with a slim build. He hasn't been identified and his relationship to Chotia-Thompson is unknown.

Police are considering the couple armed and extremely dangerous. Agencies across Utah are working to look for them. Bass said investigators are following up on several possible leads.