CLEARFIELD, Utah (News4Utah) – Imagine the tension. An armed man, who won’t turn himself into police, has prompted officials to shut down I-15.
It happened on Monday night.
“We have an individual with a gun — that is maybe not stable,” said Sgt. Nick Street with Utah Highway Patrol.
Christopher Scott Lewis had been spotted earlier Monday “slumped over drooling on the ground,” according to an affidavit of probable cause.
At one point, he “pulled a gun out and said he was going to kill himself,” documents show.
“We don’t want to see any loss of life here,” said Street.
But Lewis wouldn’t cooperate with police — and a huge artery for commuters and commerce was closed.
“We’ve shut it down, and that’s weighing in the back of our minds, too, how long, for the public good, should we allow this road to be shut down,” said Street.
Even as law enforcement officials had guns drawn, there was real danger and necessary consideration of where bullets might go.
“Where our backstop would have been had a gunfight ensued, is an important thing to consider,” said Street.
So police moved an armored vehicle behind Lewis as a tactical measure to keep the public safe.
“One of our officers firing off pepper ball rounds. It was immediately incapacitating. Person dropped the weapon, and went down on the ground,” said Street.
“Which worked brilliantly,” said Street.
Lewis, a parolee fugitive, was arrested.
“Minimal impact to the public and no loss of life. So you can’t ask for much better than that.”