Vernal man spying on ex-girlfriend shoots officer in the leg, police say
http://www.sltrib.com/ci_13690200?source=most_viewedCrime » The bullet passed through his thigh with little damage.
By Lindsay Whitehurst
The Salt Lake Tribune
Updated: 11/01/2009 10:39:23 PM MST
A Vernal man shot a police officer in the leg, then attacked an ex-girlfriend's boyfriend in his home Saturday, police said.
Officer Dustin Gray pulled up to the house in the 100 block of Dale Avenue after a neighbor reported seeing a suspicious man hiding in the bushes and peering in the windows about 10:20 p.m., said Vernal acting Police Chief Dylan Rooks.
The man was 24-year-old Jesus Martinez, who has a history of domestic abuse against his ex-girlfriend, who was in the house with her boyfriend.
Gray was about 12 feet away when Martinez popped out from behind a Dodge Durango. Without saying a word, he fired four shots at Gray with a .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun, Rooks said. One round hit the officer in the upper left leg.
Martinez turned around and fired several more shots into the basement window of the split-level house. The 28-year-old boyfriend heard the gunfire and glass breaking and walked into the living room to investigate. He thought the sound might have been light bulbs breaking outside, Rooks said.
As the boyfriend walked into the room, Martinez crashed through the broken window and attacked him.
"He points the gun to his head and tells him he's going to kill him," Rooks said.
Meanwhile, Gray radioed for help as another officer arrived. The officer pulled Gray to safety behind his police car and they waited for backup. When more officers arrived, one or two stayed with Gray as he was
loaded into the ambulance while several others entered the house.
The officers found Martinez and the boyfriend "engaged in a very violent struggle with each other," Rooks said.
The 22-year-old girlfriend was upstairs and heard the fight. She gathered her three children, took them to the master bedroom, locked the door and put the children under the bed. The woman has a protective order against Martinez.
Once the men were separated, they were taken to Ashley Regional Medical Center with injuries from the fight. They were treated and released. Martinez was arrested and taken to the Uintah County jail.
After his arrest, Martinez "asked if the officer was going to be all right or if he was going to die," Rooks said.
The gunshot went through Gray's thigh and exited without hitting any major arteries or bones, Rooks said. An ambulance took Gray to Ashley Regional, where he was recovering from his injuries Sunday. He was expected to be released from the hospital about 4 p.m. He has been a Vernal police officer for two years.
"He was relatively lucky," Rooks said. "We're thankful."
Martinez has been arrested before, once for domestic violence against the same woman when she was his girlfriend, Rooks said.
Last June, Martinez pleaded guilty to domestic violence in the presence of a child, failure to stop at the command of law enforcement, and assault, state court records show. He served six days in jail and was put on probation for three years.
Rooks said the incident is an example of how a routine police call can suddenly turn serious.
"We get those calls two or three times a night," he said. "We're really happy with the way our officers responded."Vernal,officer,HISTORY,DOMESTIC,VIOLENCE,Crime,bullet,Lindsay,Whitehurst,Salt,Lake,Tribune,Jesus,Martinez,Dustin,Gray,Dale,Avenue,neighbor,bushes,Police,Chief,Dylan,Rooks,Dodge,Durango,word,caliber,handgun,basement,gunfire,glass,room,backup,Advertisement,children,door,woman,Once,Ashley,Regional,Medical,Center,Uintah,gunshot,bones,hospital,Last,June,failure,records,probation,incident,example,times,feet,bulbs,officers,injuries,arteries,girlfriend,sltrib,thigh,boyfriend,ambulance,threeNote: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] I will not SHUT UP , GIVE UP and I WONT go away!!.