Fugitive from Montana arrested in Utah after carjacking spree ends with brief armed standoff

Posted at 8:27 PM, Aug 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-24 22:27:40-04

SALT LAKE CITY – A wanted fugitive from Montana is behind bars in Utah after Salt Lake City Police say he went on a carjacking rampage Tuesday.

It was an extremely chaotic 15 or 20 minutes for officers who were trying to locate the armed carjacking suspect.

The suspect wound up being a Montana man already wanted there for similar crimes.

"This whole thing went down so fast and there were so many egregious, felonious events that were taking place right after the other that it was hard to follow what was going on,” said Det. Robert Ungricht of the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Things began Tuesday around 3:45 p.m.

Detectives say Eddie Sanchez, who had already confronted a woman at knife-point in the area of 1000 South and State Street, then ran to the car washing bay behind Mark Strong Audi and stole an Audi at gunpoint.

Moments later he showed up at Mark Miller Toyota, where he attempted to carjack another vehicle.

But by then police officers had flooded the area and spotted Sanchez. He then ran again and attempted to break into a nearby apartment.

At that point officers had him surrounded, but Sanchez allegedly pulled out a handgun and pointed it at police.

"Our officer at that time had deployed a long gun, in this case it was a shotgun,” Ungricht said.

After a brief but intense exchange of words, and with innocent civilians in the background, Sanchez finally dropped his firearm and surrendered.

"I chalk this up to an experienced officer who has had a lot of training, you know, this is one of our firearms safety rules to be careful of your target and the backstop beyond,” Ungricht said. “So we're grateful and happy that this did not escalate into a shooting with us or with him and that nobody got hurt."

Sanchez is a fugitive from Montana, charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for an incident in late July. And the vehicle he drove to Utah in was allegedly stolen in a carjacking in Helena.

It also appears drugs or intoxication played a significant role in all of this. Sanchez is now in the Salt Lake County Jail facing numerous, new felony charges.