Wild chase ends with self-inflicted gunshot
The pursuit of a stolen vehicle by the Utah Highway Patrol and other police agencies on a wild, back-and-forth chase through Price on Saturday afternoon ended with the fleeing suspect allegedly shooting himself in the head on Highway 6 near Intermountain Electronics.
A little after noon on Saturday a Highway Patrol trooper tried to pull over the vehicle, which had been reported stolen in Grand County that morning. The dispatch advisory on the truck also stated that the driver might be armed and dangerous. The truck didn't pull over. Instead it took off driving around the Price area for nearly 30 minutes.
The vehicle, which never went faster than 45 miles per hour, was pursued on city streets full of Easter time traffic. One witness saw the pursuit three different times and in fact was in the middle of it twice.
"The first time I saw what was going on I was in Smith's parking lot and saw this little dark colored truck go east on Main Street with all these police cars behind it," said Kelly Wilkinson of Wellington. "I thought there had been an accident and the guy just wasn't pulling over for the police."
Wilkinson pulled out onto Main Street afterward and was headed up the hill on about 700 East when she saw the same truck come by her in the turn lane and the police following.
"Suddenly this truck barreled by me in the left turn lane," said Wilkinson. "I looked in my mirror after it happened and there were a lot of cop cars following the truck."
The driver, Richard L. McCoy, 42, of Salt Lake, then turned down another street while police cars followed and another group headed south on the block east of the turn apparently to try and cut the driver off, said Wilkinson.
"I then traveled the rest of the way down Main Street to 100 East and was turning right by the Peace Garden when I saw him coming from the south with the police cars behind him," she said. "I pulled into an alley to get out of the way. As he approached the stop sign on 100 North I could hear him honking his horn."
While the truck never went more than 45 miles per hour during the chase, most of the roads it traveled on had posted speeds of 20-35 mph and were in business and residential areas.
Linda Thayn of Price also saw the pursuit in the northern part of Price.
"I was driving up 300 East and the truck passed me," she said. "I saw the police cars coming up so I pulled over. The truck turned left on 800 North with all the patrol cars following it."
She also found the road blocked near her house when she turned east onto 800 North but the patrol car that was blocking it left immediately after she pulled up.
The driver took a zig-zap route all over town until he finally ended up going east on Highway 6. When he stopped, police officials tried to talk him into surrendering. As additional law enforcement personnel arrived, he got out of the truck and raised a .22 caliber pistol to his head. He then shot himself. He was transported to the University of Utah Medical Center by Life Flight and at last report he was in critical condition. However he is not expected to live.
McCoy reportedly had four warrants out for his arrest. Those warrants reportedly consisted of charges relating to shoplifting, drugs, fake ID use and non-appearance in court for some of those charges.
While none of the city, county or state officers involved in this incident discharged their weapons an investigation into the incident will take place. Due to the number of agencies involved (inlcuding the Utah Highway Patrol, the Carbon County Sheriffs Office, Price City and others), the Emery County Sheriff's Office will be conducting the investigation.