Hitchhikers shot, shooting suspect still at large

The victim of a shooting in Desert Springs, Arizona, was located by Utah Highway Patrol and transported to the hospital from Brigham Road, St. George, Utah, July 16, 2014 | Photo by Kimberly Scott, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A couple making their way to St. George alleged that they were robbed at gunpoint and then shot at after stopping in Desert Springs, Arizona, Wednesday morning. Utah Highway Patrol located the couple in a white Chevrolet Silverado Truck near Utah Exit 4 of Interstate 15 in St. George and then transported them via ambulance to the hospital.

The couple, a man and woman believed to be hitchhiking from Las Vegas to St. George, received a ride from a man driving a black Charger, Mohave County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Patricia Carter said.

“En route to St. George, they decided to stop in Desert Springs,” Carter said. “I believe the couple got out of the (Charger), and a few seconds later they were approached by a male subject in a white passenger car. The suspect confronted them with a handgun and wanted money from them.”

The couple told officers, Carter said, that after they had given the man about $200, he shot at them.

“So, it was like, was there a struggle about the money or were they not conforming?” Carter said. “But no. From what they’ve said – the victims – they had given the money over to the guy and then he shot.”

After the shooter fired at the couple, hitting and wounding the man in his hip and thigh, the couple told officers, the driver of the Charger who was giving them a ride from the Las Vegas area took off and left the scene.

The couple was basically stranded in the area, Carter said. She did not know how they located a woman to assist them, whether they went door-to-door or what, but they found a woman who let them borrow her phone and called a relative to come and pick them up.

After a male relative picked the couple up, the woman providing assistance called the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office dispatch around 1:43 p.m. and described the Silverado in which they had left and gave particulars about what she had observed. The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office then issued an attempt to locate on the Silverado carrying three people involved in what they characterized as a suspicious incident.

The Silverado was then located at approximately 1:55 p.m. by Utah Highway Patrol, and was pulled over on Brigham Road off I-15 at Utah’s Exit 4 across the street from the Pilot Travel Center. UHP troopers determined that one of the men inside the Silverado had been shot. The gunshot did not appear to be life threatening and the man was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George.

“We looked for a crime scene where the individuals indicated that it occurred and we didn’t find any evidence of a crime scene,” Arizona Highway Patrol Sgt. John T. Bottoms said. “(The couple) claimed that they did not know who the shooter was but the circumstances that surrounded everything were really suspicious. They claimed that it was underneath an overpass in Desert Springs and we didn’t see any evidence of that – no blood, no bullet casings, no other physical evidence. They certainly didn’t provide a whole lot of information to help us.”

The alleged shooter is still at large, and authorities are trying to locate him. He was described as driving a white car and using a black handgun, Carter said. He was described as being approximately 30 years old, short, extremely skinny with a sunken-in face and long, blond hair. According to the couple, the shooter  was last seen traveling southbound on I-15 at Desert Springs, Arizona, Carter said.

“There’s many speculations at this point,” Carter said. Officers are still sorting out the details, she said.

This is an ongoing investigation.

Ed. note – This report has been edited to clarify the parties and vehicles reportedly involved in this incident. This report is based on preliminary information and does not include the entire scope of findings.

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  • Bob July 16, 2014 at 8:33 pm


  • blabap July 16, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    This was the most confusing article I have read in a long time. I think it needs to be re-written from the top down.

    • J July 17, 2014 at 7:54 am

      I agree!! Very poorly written!
      I thought that through the whole article.

  • Dan Lester July 16, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    No criticism of the writer at all, but this is the weirdest and most confused thing in ages.

  • Hirschigirl July 16, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Where is Desert Springs, Az.?

    • Betty July 17, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      Desert Spring is basically at the southern end of the gorge. Its the first exit (before the Littlefield exit), if I’m not mistaken. There are a few homes on either side of the interstate. Kinda creepy area!

  • that guy July 16, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    May have been a drug deal gone wrong? Who knows it seem very funny they called a relative to come get them. Why did they not call 911 for an ambulance or the police? If some one shot me I could give a better account then that. It just seem like they did not want the police to be involved to me.

  • Jeeper July 17, 2014 at 12:21 am

    Beaver Dam is a scary place. Beware when you are in the area. It is full of drugs and no cops around.

  • U July 17, 2014 at 12:58 am

    shooter was very skinny and his face was sunken in? Sounds like a heroin user to me. My money is on a drug deal gone bad and that’s why these idiots don’t want to say anything about it. Basically its the drug circle of life. Let them off each other and society will be better for it.

  • JOSH DALTON July 17, 2014 at 7:21 am

    White guy? Black guy? Hispanic? Asian? the list goes on and on….I am not going to assume based on the blond hair he was a white guy. why did the couple call a relative? Why not call 911? Why take the long way to the hospital if you are shot? Something smells funny. Sounds like a drug deal gone bad.

  • TARRELL July 17, 2014 at 7:33 am

    Desert springs. The locals call it little sangri-la.
    The place attracts cookoos.
    Nice place to cool off from the heat. Nice little pool and waterfall.

  • SAGEMOON July 17, 2014 at 8:36 am

    I can’t wait to hear how this story unfolds. The whole thing is so confusing, I doubt the original story told comes close to being the truth.

  • EL JEFE July 17, 2014 at 9:18 am

    Now you know why you don’t see too many hitchhikers anymore…..especially in the desert.

  • Mean momma July 17, 2014 at 9:26 am


  • FWIW July 17, 2014 at 9:32 am

    I thought the article was very well written and self explanatory. After the comments, I went back & re-read it again…Nothing wrong with the WRITING of the story…It’s the story itself that is very fishy. Good job Kim.

    • blabap July 17, 2014 at 12:08 pm

      I hate to admit it but I had to go to the spectrum to figure it out. It makes a little more sense there.

  • Bob July 17, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Yeah probly crackheads shooting at crackheads…

  • HUD July 17, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Seems entirely legit.

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