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Three homicide suspects arrested in Tooele County

Feb 12, 2021, 10:32 AM | Updated: 4:32 pm

TOOELE, Utah — Utah Highway Patrol troopers arrested three people in two vehicles, all wanted in connection with a triple homicide in California. 

According to UHP Sgt. Evan Kirby, troopers received a heads-up that the three homicide suspects may have been traveling through Utah on Thursday. This allowed local law enforcement to be prepared for a potentially high-risk traffic stop.

KSL-TV was there when the trio was apprehended. 

Homicide suspects led troopers on a chase

UHP had a short chase that ended in the arrests of the three suspects. A female driver in one vehicle stopped, but the other vehicle with the two male suspects inside sped up. 

“…But we had coordinated in advance with other troopers and sheriff’s deputies to set up spikes, and some troopers with a special emergency response team,” Kirby said. “So when they accelerated we were able to get it stopped with spikes fairly quickly. 

“The fact that they were wanted in questioning in a triple homicide put us on high alert to make sure we were safe,” Kirby said.

The suspects and the plan

Mauricio Eduardo Johnson, 18, was identified as a suspect fleeing with Von Eric Keener, 46. The not-yet identified woman driving the second vehicle who was taken into custody as well.

All three were detained as local law enforcement is waiting to hear what Humboldt County (California) wants done with the suspects. 

UHP said their plan panned out, even if the suspects’ didn’t. 

“It happens not incredibly frequently, luckily we had troopers that were very well trained in dealing with this and were setting up a plan to take care of it,” Kirby said.

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Three homicide suspects arrested in Tooele County