BEAVER, Utah (ABC4) – The man accused of firing multiple rounds at officers during an incident that shut down part of I-15 in Beaver County earlier this week was taken into custody on 15 charges, new court documents show.
Monday night, Utah Highway Patrol alerted the community that an active gunman incident on I-15 near Beaver had closed down the interstate. Early Tuesday morning, the suspected gunman and two other people were taken into custody.
UHP reports one of its sergeants tried to stop a vehicle on I-15 for speeding after noticing the vehicle going about 100 mph in a 80 mph zone. The vehicle fled and the trooper pursued, traveling north on I-15 through Beaver County. At one point, the vehicle entered the median and came to a stop. That’s when the driver fled on foot into the nearby foothills.
Two passengers found in the vehicle were quickly taken into custody while the trooper called in additional law enforcement. Nearby agencies responded, including two canines teams and the Department of Public Service’s helicopter. While the canine teams and helicopter searched the foothills area, UHP says the suspect began firing rounds from a handgun at them.
The canine teams were pulled out of the area and tactical teams were called in to assist with the search for the man. As these teams were deploying, UHP reports the suspect fired several more rounds. The DPS helicopter crew, using thermal cameras, was able to quickly find the man’s location, allowing the tactical teams on the ground to approach him.
Authorities say the man, now identified as 41-year-old William Jason Brooks of Colorado, then surrendered without further incident and was safely taken into custody. No officers or suspects were injured. When Brooks was taken into custody, he allegedly told officers someone else must have been shooting at the officers “because it wasn’t him.”
Arresting documents for Brooks show he was taken into custody for six counts of assault against an officer with a weapon, five counts of possession or use of a controlled substance, two counts of transaction of a firearm by a restricted person, and one count each of failure to stop and theft of a firearm or vehicle. While working to determine who the suspect was, authorities say they determined Brooks has been convicted of multiple felonies and was a wanted fugitive.
When investigators searched the vehicle Brooks had been driving, they say they found distributable amounts of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, and MDMA, otherwise known as ecstasy. Marijuana was also found in a backpack inside the car and syringes were found behind the driver’s seat.
Authorities found Brooks with a handgun that had been reported stolen out of Castle Rock, Colorado in August. According to arresting documents, Brooks attempted to shoot six officers during the incident, and the magazine of the handgun was empty when they found it. They also found personal documents in his wallet not belonging to him.
Brooks was booked into the Beaver County Jail on Tuesday.