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Suspect arrested following West Valley City police shooting incident

Posted at 2:54 PM, Aug 07, 2022

WEST VALLEY, Utah — A suspect in an earlier shooting was shot and wounded in an encounter with police in West Valley City Sunday afternoon.

Around 1 p.m., officers responded to reports of a person who was shot between the Sizzler and Carl's Jr. restaurants near 3469 S. Redwood Road. The victim, a 41-year-old man, was taken to the hospital in good condition with non-life-threatening injuries.

Police gave an update Monday that the initial shooting occurred after an argument between the two men about a suspected theft. A bullet grazed the victim's head, and he was treated at the scene.

An officer then found the male suspect near the Indoor Swap Meet at 1500 W. 3500 South and confronted him.

“I heard three gunshots. Three shots,” said Augusto Trejo, who works at the swap meet. “Bam, bam, bam. Three.”

WVCPD spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku said it is believed that at some point during the confrontation, the officer fired shots. The suspect, 40-year-old Mitchell Van Halsey, was hit and was taken to the hospital in serious condition. He was later released from the hospital on Aug. 10 and booked into jail by Salt Lake City Police Department.

“When I heard the gunshots, I saw a lot of people run into the restaurant and the supermarket. They were all scared,” said Trejo.

A gun was found at the scene that police believe the suspect had in his possession. It was not known whether the suspect fired any shots, but Vainuku said no officers were injured.

“It’s kind of scary to know that these types of things are happening around us,” said Alicia Salazar, who lives nearby.

Vainuku said WVCPD officers are equipped with body-worn cameras, and they are working to find out if the officer involved in the shooting was wearing one and if it was activated.

“We’re grateful when a situation comes to a resolution with the least amount of people being hurt,” she said.

Salt Lake County's protocol for "officer-involved critical incidents," including police shootings, involves an investigation by members of outside police agencies in the county.