BEAVER, Utah (ABC4) – A witness and officer involved in an arrest of a gunman who tried to evade police on the freeway in Southern Utah paint the picture of an intense ordeal that included a firefight and SWAT teams on Monday.
Charging documents state a Utah Highway Patrol officer tried pulling over William Jason Brooks of Colorado for going 100 MPH in an 80 MPH zone north on I-15 near Beaver.
“I was coming back from Salt Lake, and there were signs, electronic freeway signs that said ‘within 30 miles don’t pick up hitchhikers call 911 if you see hitchhikers’ so I thought okay that’s kind of interesting,” says one witness, Carl Grafelman.
Documents state Brooks got out of his car and fled on foot into nearby hills. Two other people placed their hands outside of the windows in the car and were taken into custody.
“We had two K-9 teams that responded, one from UHP and one from Cedar City PD, they began working the foothills looking for the suspect, as they began working the terrain, the suspect began firing at them from undetermined and a concealed location,” says Lt. Randy Riches of UHP.
“There was one officer putting body armor on, there was one leaning on his truck, with the driver’s side window down and he had his AT-15 like through the truck,” says Grafelman.
That’s when the Department of Public Safety sent out two helicopters, which located Brooks hiding in some brush. SWAT teams and a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle then took Brooks into custody.
“He is a parole fugitive out of Colorado, for it seems like it was weapons offenses,” says Riches.
Police say they found a gun, cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, and other pills in the car along with items used in drug sales.
“It feels good to get it off the roads and out of communities we have a lot of work to do,” says Riches.
Riches says he’s glad no officers or suspects were hurt. Brooks is currently booked in the Beaver County Jail.