New details emerge in I-15 traffic stop that turned violent

Local News

JUAB COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – New details immerge in a traffic stop that turned violent and has a man and woman in police custody.

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Court documents reveal two deputies investigating a potential drug bust stopped a car with Minnesota license plates on I-15 Wednesday.

During the traffic stop, police said James Klein – of Minnesota – ditched his passenger, 43-year-old Jennifer Huang, and stole the deputies’ vehicle.

After a few miles, officials said Klein crashed the patrol SUV near the Yuba State Park exit.

They continued to say Klein then came out from the car with a deputy’s rifle.

The situation can be heard on scanner traffic.

“I just copied. In traffic, en route still. Shots have been fired down there,” an officer said.

Officials said a shootout then happened between Klein and Utah Highway Patrol Troopers; Klein injuring a bystander(s).

“Affirmative. We just got a call about a civilian shot,” a dispatcher said. “The victim has been shot by the suspect.” 

“The citizens were injured, yes. Medical support was given, but we don’t know all the details of that shooting,” said Sheriff Douglas Anderson, of the Juab County Sheriff’s Department, Wednesday night.

Following the freeway shoot out, Klein disappeared into the desert.

Police said the SWAT team tracked his footsteps down to the Sevier River, where they found him swimming to get away.

Klein is now in police custody. Court documents show deputies also arrested his passenger, Jennifer Huang.

But this isn’t the first time Klein’s had a shootout with police.

A criminal complaint filed in Hennepin County, Minnesota, shows last March, Klein shot at Minneapolis officers after being accused of stealing from Walmart and buying large amounts of ammunition while wearing a holster.

As for the car Klein and Huang were in, records show officers found nine pounds of methamphetamine and a nine millimeter loaded firearm.

When booked into the Juab County Jail, court documents also report Huang gave officials a false identification and Social Security Number.

“The name and Social Security Number was entered into UCIJIS and no record was found using the name or Social Security Number provided,” the report states. “It is reasonable to believe the name and social security provided was false and not her real or legal name. Through UCIJIS by using her social security number, we found the real identity.”

Klein was arrested on multiple charges:

  • 2 counts of theft of a firearm/vehicle
  • 1 count of possession with intent to distribute contolled substance
  • 1 count of failure to stop or respond at command of police
  • 1 count of altering a number on pistol/revolver
  • 1 count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person
  • 1 count of having a loaded firearm in a vehicle on a street or in a prohibited area
  • 1 count of possession of marijuana
  • 2 counts of murder
  • 2 counts of murder – knowing and intentional
  • 1 count of aggravated robbery

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