SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah — Two Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies were shot outside the sheriff’s department in South Salt Lake Saturday morning.
Shortly before 10:30 a.m., the two deputies were patrolling the complex at 3415 S. 900 West, which also includes Unified Police headquarters and the Salt Lake County Metro Jail.
They encountered a man near the north parking lot, and as they approached him, he pulled out a handgun and shot at them.
Investigators are working to determine exactly what happened, but Sheriff Rosie Rivera said everything happened very fast and at least one of the deputies fired back, killing the suspect.
Both deputies were shot in the face and taken to the hospital.
One deputy, who was hit in the cheek, is in stable condition and is expected to be released soon, Rivera said Saturday afternoon.
The other was shot in the eye and is in critical but stable condition. He will remain in the hospital for surgery.
“They have a long time to heal,” Rivera said. “It’s a struggle.”
There were no others involved in the shooting, but other deputies responded quickly to render medical aid.
Police have not yet been able to identify the suspect, but they believe he is in his 30s. Rivera added that while investigators haven’t determined a motive for the shooting nor what he was doing in the area, they believe he may have been homeless based on items they found in the area.
“These types of incidents are really devastating for the department,” Rivera said. “The environment for law enforcement right now is extremely dangerous, and we know that.”
A “Peer Support Team” is helping members of the sheriff’s office cope with the incident.
Rivera said the jail will remain on lockdown until the on-scene portion of the investigation is complete.
Officials ask anyone with information on the shooting to contact the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office.