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Update: Suspected shooters from Provo protest arrested in SLC

Demonstrators marching on the streets in Provo, Utah. Photo courtesy KSL-TV.

PROVO –Provo Police have arrested two people suspected of shooting at an SUV during a protest in Provo. 

Jesse Taggard, 33, of Salt Lake City and Samantha Darling, 27, of Ogden were arrested by Salt Lake City Police on Tuesday evening. They were later transferred to Provo. 

Police booked Taggard into Utah County Jail on multiple charges, including attempted aggravated murder, aggravated assault, causing serious bodily injury, rioting, threatening the use of a weapon in a fight or quarrel, criminal mischief, and firing a weapon near a highway.

Darling was booked into the Utah County Jail on obstruction of justice and rioting. 

 

On Monday night, police were called to respond to a protest in Provo after reports that shots were fired after competing demonstrators clashed near Center Street and University Avenue.

How the demonstration escalated

The evening began with a group that gathered and began chanting and holding signs calling for justice for the deaths of Bernardo Placios-Carbajal, George Floyd, and others.

Tensions began to escalate after pro-police counter-protestors arrived and the original group began to block intersections.

It was at this point that an SUV was trying to move through the crowd.  KSL-TV reporters were there covering the protest when they recorded what is now reported by Provo Police to be a gun being held up by someone that was masked in the crowd pointed at the SUV.   

It is at this point that at least two loud pops believed to be gunshots can be heard. 

The investigation

Today the Provo Police released a statement on yesterday’s demonstration.

The statement reads:

Numerous citizens provided video footage. A white SUV was driving South on University Avenue before pulling into the right turn lane in an attempt to turn onto Center Street. Several protestors began crowding around the vehicle. A male protestor ran to the SUV on the passenger side, pointed a handgun at driver and shot one round through the window.

The driver, who was struck by the bullet, hit the gas trying to leave the situation. The same protestor ran after the vehicle and shot a second round that went through the rear passenger window. The video then shows that the protestor conceals the firearm and continues to protest. This same protestor later approached another vehicle at 500 North and University Avenue striking and breaking the window with the handgun.

Provo Police are asking if you have photos or video of the incident at Center Street and University Avenue to please contact Detective Patterson at npatterson@provo.org