1 hospitalized after Spring City officer-involved shooting

Posted at 1:49 PM, Sep 25, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-25 19:25:18-04

SPRING CITY, Utah -- A man suspected of stealing a truck was shot and wounded by a Utah Highway Patrol trooper outside this small central Utah town.

Sanpete County Sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a stolen truck about 3 a.m. Wednesday. Sanpete County Attorney Brody Keisel told FOX 13 that deputies tracked it to an area outside Spring City limits.

"The person witnessed the theft," Keisel said. "There was an (attempt to locate) that was put out. A Sanpete County deputy was able to locate that vehicle and who we believe was the suspect was still inside that vehicle."

A Utah Highway Patrol trooper responded to provide backup, the agency said, adding that the man raised a gun and shots were fired.

"I know that at some point during the contact with the suspect that shots were fired," Keisel said. "Beyond that, I would be speculating."

Authorities would not say how many shots were fired, but the man was struck in the arm. He was taken to Sanpete Valley Hospital in nearby Mt. Pleasant, and then to a hospital in the Salt Lake City area.

The UHP also said the man suffered self-inflicted wounds, possibly from a knife, but the agency said it did not know if that happened before or after the shooting.David Searle mugshot

Keisel confirmed the man's identity to FOX 13 as David Searle, 43, who was being prosecuted for unrelated charges in Manti's 6th District Court, he said. Searle is pictured here in a mugshot from an arrest in August.

As it was towed from the crime scene, it appeared that the driver's side and rear windows of the truck had been shot out. Keisel confirmed a firearm was recovered from the scene.

The UHP trooper was not harmed, and is on administrative leave while the shooting is investigated.

"We want to be very careful, very diligent, very practical in the investigation," Keisel said. "It's nothing that we want to rush for anybody's best interest."