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Police identify man injured in officer-involved critical incident in Salt Lake City

Posted at 5:36 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 15:14:02-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A man was transported to the hospital after shots were fired in an officer-involved critical incident Thursday afternoon in Salt Lake City.

Police identified the man Friday as 27-year-old Romeo Jimmy Lopez.

Lopez was booked into jail on suspicion of four felony counts:

  • assault on a peace officer or military service member in uniform (2 counts)
  • failure to stop or respond at command of police (2 counts)

The incident happened in the area of 1800 West 700 North.

Officers with the Department of Public Safety were working undercover and saw a silver Mercedes van they believed to be involved in a drug deal. According to an affidavit, the officers observed a hand-to-hand transaction occur between the driver in the Mercedes and another individual.

Officers followed the car and conducted a high-risk stop with their lights and sirens activated and attempted to arrest Lopez in a neighborhood north of 700 North.

Lopez drove his vehicle toward the officers, and they fired their firearms at him, a probable cause statement says. Lopez sped off and a short time later drove over a fence and a portion of the yard of a nearby residence to elude officers. As Lopez continued to flee police, his car struck a FedEx truck. That disabled his car, and officers took him into custody.

Lopez was taken to a hospital for minor injuries and was treated and released from the hospital a short time later.

After being advised of his Miranda rights, Lopez made statements about fleeing to Mexico when given the opportunity. Lopez has exhibited a propensity to put the community, law enforcement, and himself in harm's way to elude law enforcement officers from apprehending him, the affidavit states, as well as noting Lopez has several violent offenses in his criminal history. Because of those factors, it was recommended Lopez be held without bail.