Robbery suspect takes officer’s gun, shoots self in leg during struggle

Posted at 9:15 PM, Jan 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-14 18:43:41-05

MILLCREEK, Utah - A man and a woman were taken into custody Tuesday night after police followed up on a tip about a possible robbery, and when officers encountered the male suspect an altercation ensued--during which the suspect shot himself in the leg using the police officer's gun.

At approximately 7 p.m., Unified police detectives responded to the Fresh Market, 3900 S. 2300 East, after receiving a tip that a man and a partner were planning to rob the store.

Officers spotted the suspect during a stake out at the market and moved to arrest him, said Lt. Justin Hoyal, spokesman for Unified police.

The suspect allegedly fought the officer just outside the front door of the business. During the struggle, Hoyal said, the suspect was able to pull the officer's gun from its holster.

A press release from Unified Police Department officials stated that after the suspect took the weapon, the police officer tried to keep the gun pointing at the ground during the struggle to prevent injury to other officers and citizens.  The suspect fired the gun, the release stated, and the bullet passed through the officer's coat and struck the suspect in the leg. The press release stated that the man continued to fight officers after suffering the gun shot wound and was only taken into custody when more police arrived at the scene.

The officer suffered powder burn injuries to his hands.

Hoyal said the man is a suspect in six bank robberies and one business robbery.  Police believe the suspect was planning on robbing a bank branch inside the market.

Jensen and Lalor mugshotsThe press release states that the suspect police arrested is Edward Jensen, and he was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail, where he faces multiple charges. He faces charges for: six aggravated bank robberies, aggravated robbery, attempted homicide, disarming a police officer and others. A statement of probable cause referred to the man as Joshua Edward Jensen rather than Edward Jensen.

Police also arrested Tiffani Lalor, who they stated was waiting in the parking lot for Jensen. Police said Lalor had been a getaway driver in the prior bank robberies Jensen allegedly committed.

The officer has been put on paid-administrative leave pending the completion of the investigation.