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Front Page » February 26, 2011 » Breaking News » Updated 3/1/11: Deputy wounded in shootout, suspect in cu...
Published 1,687 days ago

Updated 3/1/11: Deputy wounded in shootout, suspect in custody; fire bombs found

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Sun Advocate Associate Editor
Sun Advocate Reporter

Multiple gunshots broke the silence of a quiet southwest Price neighborhood Saturday night as a suspect in a violent domestic abuse incident blasted a shotgun at law enforcement officers, wounding a deputy sheriff before being captured.

Carbon County deputy sheriff Michael Hreinson, 44, was slightly wounded, hit by pellets in his right leg and torso. Hreinson was treated at Castleview Hospital and released.

The suspect, Price resident Gary Hinkins, 40, was arrested by the Sheriff's SWAT Team and Price Police officers after a brief chase in a nearby yard at shortly after 7:30 p.m.

Police Capt. Kevin Drolc said Hinkins was taken to Carbon County Jail and booked on four counts of Attempted Homicide of a Police Officer, Attempted Homicide (stemming from an alleged assault on his estranged wife), Possession of a Firearm by a Restricted Person, Possession of a Sawed Off Shotgun and Possession of an Incendiary Device.

According to Drolc, the incident began to unfold at about 6:25 p.m., when police officers were dispatched to Castleview to meet with Mechelle Hinkins, 40, a victim of a domestic abuse assault which occurred at 211 South 400 West in Price.

The victim told police that she had received serious blunt force trauma to her head and hands at the hand of her estranged husband, Gary Hinkins. She was admitted to Castleview Hospital.

Meanwhile, Utah Adult Probation and Parole agents Jeff Wood and Cletis Steele, and Carbon County deputies Tory Christiansen and Michael Hreinson went to the Hinkins home at 211 South 400 West to interview Gary Hinkins.

Drolc said that as the investigators approached a motor home behind the house where they thought Hinkins was hiding out, they ordered him to come out. The response was about seven shotgun blasts fired through the walls and windshield of the RV. Hreinson was hit by one of the blasts and a Price officer returned fire with his service weapon.

"We heard a big boom and then some other shots. Then some more booms," said one young witness in the neighborhood.

As soon as the emergency call from Public Safety Dispatch went out - "Man Down" - law enforcement and public safety responders from across the county raced to the scene.

In addition to Price policy and Sheriff's deputies, responders included Utah County Sheriff's Bomb Squad, Helper Police, Wellington Police, Emery County Sheriff, East Carbon Police, Utah Highway Patrol, Federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents, Price City Fire Department, Carbon County Hazmat and Carbon County Ambulance.

Vehicles with flashing beacons cordoned off 200 South between 300 and 500 West Streets as well as side streets approaching the scene.

At the scene Saturday night, Drolc said that the Utah County Bomb Squad had been called in because of reports that there were pipe bombs or Molotov cocktails in the RV. On Monday, Chief Alec Shilaos confirmed that the bomb squad had found Molotovs.

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