Alleged robber wounded in shootout near Nevada-Utah line
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A suspect in an armed robbery in Utah hours earlier was critically wounded in a shootout with police near the Nevada-Utah line after he fired his gun inside a strip club, fled the scene and crashed outside a Nevada casino along Interstate 80, authorities said Friday.
Elko County Sheriff’s Lt. Kevin McKinney said more than two dozen shots were exchanged between the suspect and West Wendover, Nevada police before he surrendered Thursday night and was flown by helicopter to a Salt Lake City hospital.
Ogden police identified him Friday afternoon as Christopher Anthony Martinez, 30, and reported he was in critical condition. He was shot at least once in the chest and suffered leg injuries from the crash.
Martinez is believed to be the same man who was caught on surveillance tape during a holdup on Thursday at the Mountain America Credit Union in Ogden, police said in a post on the department’s Twitter account.
Investigators say a large amount of cash found in his car after the shootout includes bills that match serial numbers of those taken in the robbery.
Ogden police Lt. Danielle Croyle, the department’s public information officer, did not immediately respond to telephone calls and emails seeking further details.
Authorities in Nevada recovered multiple firearms from the suspect’s car, and a bomb squad robot disarmed a possible explosive device found inside. Roads remained closed at midday around the Red Garter Casino in West Wendover, nearly 160 miles southwest of Ogden.
“We found some other firearms, a couple of long guns and a shotgun,” McKinney told the Deseret News.
Police responded at about 8:45 p.m. Thursday after the man allegedly pulled a handgun on the doorman at the strip club, hit him over the head with the gun and fired a round into the bar.
McKinney said the doorman suffered minor injuries, and no one else was hurt.
A witness, Randy Rudd, said he saw the crash and almost immediately heard gunfire.
“He opened fire in his car or something, and the cops pulled the (guns) out and just lit him up,” Rudd told Salt Lake City’s KUTV. “It was a trip.”