- Associated Press - Monday, April 8, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - A robbery suspect died Monday after leading officers on a chase down a busy Salt Lake City street, weaving in and out of traffic while leaning out of his truck window and firing his rifle at them, authorities said.

Harold Vincent Robinson, 37, was a suspect in armed robberies at two convenience stores in Salt Lake City suburbs, said Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera.

When officers found him in Salt Lake City, Robinson sped off in his white truck and weaved through traffic with several police cars behind him. The chase ended when he crashed his truck into a building about 4 miles (6 kilometers) south of downtown Salt Lake City.

A throng of officers opened fire on the crashed truck, with about 20 consecutive seconds of gunfire before they slowly walked toward the truck with their guns drawn, shows a witness video provided to KUTV in Salt Lake City.

One officer suffered minor injuries from a bullet that ricocheted and a bystander called for medical assistance, said Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown.

Authorities wouldn’t say if Robinson, of the Salt Lake City suburb of West Valley City, was killed by police gunfire or due to injuries from his truck crashing into a building to end the pursuit.

The pursuit caused a shutdown of a Salt Lake City street that goes by a state courthouse, but court operations weren’t interrupted.

Robinson also fired shots at a hotel for unknown reasons. Brown said authorities discussed calling off the pursuit because of the number of people on the street, but decided the threat posed by the suspect was too great to let him get away.

“Armed with a rifle, firing indiscriminately through the city; horrific,” Brown said.

Witnesses described a chaotic situation as the chase unfolded.

Dave Garrison, of St. Louis, Missouri, told the Deseret News that he saw the gunfire as he walked out of the hotel that the suspect shot at.

“I think my guardian angels were with me. I could have walked out that main entrance. I could have walked right by that gentleman,” Garrison said. “I guess it wasn’t my time.”

Scotty Newman told The Salt Lake Tribune that he was at a coffee shop when he saw so many police cars go by that he thought it was a parade.

“That’s when I heard all the shooting,” Newman said. “A bunch of the cops were running down State Street, all their weapons drawn, shooting at this truck that is now crashed down the way. … It’s the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Online Utah court records show that Robinson had pleaded guilty to assault in 2001 and 2003. He was ordered to go to anger management classes after the 2001 incident which was a domestic violence case.

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