A Utah man suspected in an armed robbery was critically injured after an officer-involved shooting Wednesday afternoon, authorities said. Police responded to a report of an armed robbery involving a knife at Fiesta Olé, 4098 W. 5415 South, shortly after 1:20 p.m., according to Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray.
Police later identified the man who was shot as Kearns resident James Lyle Kuehn, 61. Detectives at the scene were able to quickly identify Kuehn as a possible suspect based on evidence at the scene, and they went to a home near 4270 West and 5700 South about 20 minutes after the reported robbery, Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said. Police came across Kuehn, which led to a confrontation and shots were fired, she added. “We do know a weapon was displayed and shots were fired,” Rivera said.
A man working nearby, who didn’t want to be identified, said he saw four or five police cars fly down the street toward a house just before shots were fired. “They immediately opened their doors and started running around their cars to the front of the house,” he said. “All of a sudden, pop, pop, pop. Somebody just got shot.” Kuehn was taken to a hospital in critical condition. Rivera said they believed a second person may be in the home. They were able to get inside, but nobody was found in there, police said. Salt Lake police are handling the investigation. Rivera added she didn’t believe the public was in danger.
Court records show Kuehn has a lengthy criminal history in Utah dating back to 1987. Many of the cases involved theft or retail theft. He was charged with retail theft on Sept. 10 in relation to an August incident. A warrant was issued for Kuehn’s arrest Tuesday after he failed to appear in court, according to court records. Kuehn was also charged in two separate misdemeanor drug possession cases this year, as well as obstructing justice in another case.
Wednesday’s incident was the third officer-involved shooting in the state in the past week. Diamonte Riviore, 22, died after he was shot by officers in West Jordan on Thursday. Jacob E. Albrethsen, 17, died after he was shot and killed by Orem police on Friday. In both of those cases, police said the individuals approached officers with a knife and police shot them after a Taser wasn’t effective. Fiesta Olé employees declined to talk to the media. The business’s drive-thru was still open after the incident Wednesday afternoon. [Source: KSL.com]