Authorities investigate alleged shooting, suicide incident
|Law enforcement officers stand around the jeep in which John Hansen left his home after shooting his wife. Hansen drove the Jeep from the scene and soon after took his own life. Traffic was blocked to and from Columbia on Highway 124 for a couple of hours while the incident was investigated.|
An argument between a husband and wife turned violent last Thursday when a woman was shot in Columbia and the alleged perpetrator took his life on Utah Highway 124.
Law enforcement authorities discovered the body of 49-year-old John Hansen inside the Columbia resident's Jeep at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 12. The vehicle was parked across the two lanes of traffic on the highway leading from Columbia to East Carbon City.
The attempted murder suspect apparently shot himself in the chest with a .38 caliber automatic pistol. Remaining conscious after the first self-inflicted gunshot wound, the male subject purportedly turned the weapon to his head and pulled the trigger a second time.
"It was a very unusual suicide," pointed out East Carbon Police Chief Sam Leonard. "People seldom shoot themselves twice during suicide attempts."
The man's wife, 46-year-old Donna Hansen, was discovered by paramedics in the back yard of the family residence in Columbia after neighbors called for emergency assistance at the scene. The woman suffered from four gunshot wounds, according to law enforcement investigators.
The couples's two children were purportedly inside the home at the time of the alleged incident and ran for assistance after the man chased the woman out of the house with the weapon.
The Carbon County Sheriff's Office and the Utah Highway Patrol responded to the incident after the emergency broadcast came from the public safety dispatch center at about 9:12 a.m.
Leonard had arrived in Salt Lake for a meeting shortly before receiving a phone call about the situation and the police chief rushed back to Carbon County to assist with the investigation.
According to Leonard, the Hansen children reported that the couple started arguing last Wednesday night. The domestic dispute apparently carried through the night into the next morning, culminating when the male subject purportedly shot the female victim.
Donna Hansen was initially transported from Columbia to the medical clinic in East Carbon Clinic. The victim was later transported to Castleview Hospital with gunshots to abdomen and thigh. The woman also had grazing wounds to the head and thigh.