2 Salt Lake County Sheriffs Deputies Shot in Face Outside Jail

2 Salt Lake County Sheriffs Deputies Shot in Face Outside Jail gov. spencer cox speaks in front of the utah state seal Utah Republican Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

By Eric Mack | Sunday, 11 April 2021 08:28 AM

Two Utah sheriffs' deputies are hospitalized after being shot in the face in a shootout Saturday morning outside a Salt Lake County jail that left the suspect dead.

One deputy shot in the eye is in critical but stable condition after undergoing surgery, officials said. The other was grazed by a bullet in the cheek and is expected to be released from the hospital soon. The two officers were partners working as part of jail security.

Utah GOP Gov. Spencer Cox tweeted:

"Such an awful tragedy outside the Salt Lake County Jail today. Abby and I are praying for the two deputies fighting for their lives."

The deceased shooter's identity is unknown, but he is believed to be about 30 years old.

He was carrying a weapon and opened fire as deputies approached him on a lawn outside the jail around 10:30 a.m. local time, Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said in a news conference. She did not know if one or both deputies returned fire, or how many shots were fired.

"We do believe he is going to survive," she said of the deputy shot in the eye. "It could have been a lot worse.

"We are just fortunate that they weren't killed."

Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, tweeted:

"Ann's and my hearts are heavy with reports of two Salt Lake County deputies shot and hospitalized. We join them and their families in prayer and hope."

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.