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Friend of victim speaks as two suspects charged in relation to Riverton shooting

Posted at 2:49 PM, Jan 23, 2018

HERRIMAN, Utah - Salt Lake City Police arrested and charged two people after an operation Tuesday in relation to Saturday'sshooting in Riverton.

SLCPD Detective Greg Wilking said they charged Tasha and Misty Llewelyn for obstruction of justice. The main suspect, Justin Gary Llewelyn, was still on the run as of Tuesday night.

Originally, police said they took three people in for questioning after the operation. The Jordan School district briefly placed three schools on lockout during the operation, and Salt Lake City Police said it was out of an abundance of caution. Salt Lake City Police later said one person was released without charges.

Unified Police said Justin Llewelyn fired at two officers and shot a homeowner Saturday morning, after police found Llewelyn burglarizing cars in the neighborhood.

A good friend of the shooting victim said the man, named Steve, was at home with his family when they said Llewelyn shot their sliding glass door to break into their home.

The bullets shattered a fish tank, alerting the family to the intruder. Chris Wardle said his friend Steve went downstairs and heard rustling in the garage. He opened the door to find the suspect trying to break into his car.

Wardle said Steve confronted the burglar in order to get him away from his home and family.

"The guy reaches into his pocket, pulls out a pistol and tells Steve to give him his car keys," Wardle said. At that point, Wardle said Steve began to shut the door, but the man began to fire, hitting Steve three times-- once in the chest and twice in his side.

"He slams the door on the guy, runs back upstairs, and he gets to the top of the stairs and he realizes that everything is not okay in his life," Wardle said. "He reaches to his chest and he's got hands full of blood, and at that point he's realizing that he's shot. He's looking back, and he's grabbing a towel and he's rushing his whole family to barricade them behind a door."

Wardle said Steve laid down behind the door to barricade his family in, as it set in that he was shot and bleeding. His wife called 911. Wardle said the suspect, later identified as Llewelyn by police, broke into the car in the garage, and rammed into two vehicles outside the garage in order to get away.

Llewelyn disappeared, and three days later still hasn't been caught.

"We really want to resolve this as safe as possible," Det. Wilking with Salt Lake City Police said about the search for Llewelyn, during a press conference on Tuesday.

They couldn't say how Misty and Tasha Llewelyn are related to Justin Llewelyn, but it appears Tasha is his mother or step mother and Misty appears to be his sister-in-law.

Police are now offering an undisclosed cash award for information leading to Llewelyn's capture.

Wardle said for Steve, he's now dealing with the aftermath of three damaged vehicles, a damaged home and medical expenses-- on top of the trauma of the shooting. Wardle said the bullets are still lodged in Steve's body and it'll be at least three weeks before he's able to work again.

"Until the guy's in cuffs, I don't think you can face like, 'This guy shot me. This guy... Why did he do it?' I'm sure that's going through [Steve's] head. 'What was he really evading?'" Wardle said.

A fundraising page has been set up for Steve and his family, and Wardle said they're grateful for the outpouring of support they've received from the Herriman and Riverton communities.