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Man arrested after chase, shootings near Zion National Park

October 7, 2021 GMT

ROCKVILLE, Utah (AP) — A man who is suspected of shooting at vehicles and causing a lockdown of a tourist town outside of Zion National Park in southern Utah was apprehended Wednesday night, authorities said.

It wasn’t clear if any injuries have been reported. Zion National Park spokeswoman Amanda Rowland said the suspect had been apprehended, but she declined to say if anyone had been injured.

The Washington County Critical Incident Task Force said in a statement that officers responded Wednesday at about 3:40 p.m. to a report of a man who brandished a handgun during an argument in the city of Hurricane, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southwest of the national park. He then drove off in a silver-colored pickup truck.

Officers attempted a traffic stop but the suspect continued along State Route 9 and shot at multiple vehicles, authorities said.

Residents of Rockville, which has about 220 residents, were told to take shelter at 4:30 p.m. in response to gunfire on the highway, KSL-TV reported.

State Route 9 was closed for a period of time in both directions through Rockville, according to the Utah Department of Transportation.

Shuttle buses inside the national park were briefly stopped as emergency vehicles sped through the park Wednesday evening.

Authorities said in the statement that officers deployed spike sticks and exchanged gunfire as the suspect continued driving through the area. The vehicle crashed in Rockville and fled into a nearby neighborhood where he was found with a gunshot wound around 6:15 p.m.

The investigation is ongoing. No further details about the shooting were immediately made available.

Zion National Park is one of the nation’s most popular parks. National Park Service data shows the park saw nearly 676,000 visitors in June, topping the number during the same period in 2019 by a wide margin.