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SALT LAKE CITY — A man is dead and an officer suffered minor injuries after shots were fired at a Salt Lake hotel and police chased a vehicle to South Salt Lake Monday morning, police confirmed.
Police responded to reports of shots fired at a Sheraton hotel near 150 W. 500 South about 10:45 a.m., Salt Lake Sheriff Rosie Rivera said.
Lauren Bennett, a Deseret News reporter, was in the parking lot of the McDonald’s across from the Sheraton hotel when she heard shots.
“It was terrifying,” she said. “From what I saw, he was just firing at the entrance of the hotel. He was in the driveway part at the front entrance of the Sheraton and just opened fire, shooting.
“It was absolutely rapid fire,” she added. "I don’t know guns very well, but I know that for a fact. It was like, ‘pop-pop-pop-pop-pop.’ It was very quick. … It was not intermittent at all.”
When officers arrived, they spotted a vehicle that was fleeing the scene and began pursuing.
Officers chased the vehicle across the city and along State Street as the driver fired a rifle out the window toward police, Rivera said. One officer suffered minor injuries from the ricochet of a bullet, but was not transported to the hospital. Nearby bystanders said they ducked for cover as they heard the shots.
The chase ended when the driver crashed into Princess Alterations at 3339 S. State St., according to Utah Department of Transportation cameras. He died on scene.
Rivera said there was an “officer-involved” shooting, but police would not say whether the man died from the impact of the crash, from an officer’s bullet or some other cause.
Officers had earlier received reports of an armed robbery at a Holiday Oil in Taylorsville, 2729 W. 4700 South, then received reports of another armed robbery at a 7-Eleven in Millcreek, 3330 S. 900 East, according to Rivera. One person received minor injuries during the armed robbery in Millcreek.
Minutes later, police received reports of the shooting at the Sheraton. Officers believe the three incidents are related, and there are now 15 crime scenes related to the incident throughout the city.