Arizona parole agent shot in southern Utah

Posted at 10:43 AM, Nov 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-11-13 13:07:18-05

ST. GEORGE, Utah – St. George police are looking for someone who allegedly shot and injured an Adult Probation and Parole officer Tuesday.

Police say it happened around 6:20 a.m. inside an office building near the intersection of 400 East and Tabernacle Street.

It’s still unclear at this point what prompted the encounter between the suspect and the victim, but others who work in the office suite say the parole officer happened upon a burglary in progress.

The officer works out of Mohave County but has an office in the building.

Attorney and office manager Travis Christiansen said it would be rare for anyone in the office to meet with someone that early in the morning.

Police haven’t released the name of the parole officer, but Christiansen said it was Brian Stephens, who had worked in the office for a few years.

Police say the suspect fired at Stephens, hitting him in the leg, but by the time officers arrived, the suspect was gone.”

Police obviously immediately rendered aid to the AP&P agent,” said St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain. “[Then] set up a perimeter, started gathering information, did what we could to look for this individual.”

Police conducted an intense initial search of the area surrounding the building, but when they couldn’t find the suspect, their investigation turned to trying to figure out whom that person was and why he’d be in there.

“We border Mohave County. They obviously have an office in St. George and deal with individuals who are residents of Utah,” Despain said. “Those are all things that we are looking into."

The suspect remains at large. The suspect is described as about 6 feet tall with a slender build. The suspect was wearing a white hockey mask, black hooded sweatshirt and black pants.

Anyone who saw anything this morning, or has information on the possible location on that suspect is asked to contact St. George police at 435-627-4301.