PROVO, Utah — Provo police released more details about the Orem man at the center of a deadly officer-involved shooting. However, investigators are still puzzled as to why the suspect fled from police in the first place.
Neighbor to the officer-involved shooting
The exchange of gunfire was truly frightening for Provo resident Clark Davis. He lives next to where the shooting occurred, and his home was significantly damaged.
Davis told KSL NewsRadio, he thought it may have been fireworks, at first, but quickly realized it was much more dangerous than that.
Davis said, “We hit the floor because we realized it was gunshots. At that point, you don’t have any idea what it is, who it is or anything. So, we turned off the lights and locked the door.”
In just a matter of seconds, the gunfire stopped. He said most of his family was asleep, and he feels extremely lucky no one inside was hit.
Davis claims roughly half a dozen bullets hit the outside of his home.
“There were a couple lower than the window in the room where we were. There was peppering all across the house,” he said. “We were very blessed. As I looked out, there were a couple that hit our porch poles that would have come into the room we were in.”
Provo police release details about Orem man
The man is Paul Rasmussen, a 48-year-old from Orem, according to Provo police. Provo Police Sergeant Nick Dupaix said a Provo police officer tried to pull Rasmussen over for erratic driving, but Rasmussen took off at a high rate of speed.
Dupaix reported that officer decided not to pursue Rasmussen, but his car was later spotted by two Utah County Major Crimes Task Force officers who were patrolling the area.
Dupaix said, “The detectives initiated their police lights, and then it was reported that Paul Rasmussen pointed a gun at the detectives.”
Investigators are still trying to determine why Rasmussen would run away from a routine traffic stop. Dupaix said there’s no clear and obvious reason.
“I didn’t [see] any type of warrants on his record,” he said.
Investigators are processing the car to see if anything illegal was inside. Dupaix reported they’re also looking for any surveillance footage that may provide answers.
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