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September 25, 2022

Charges say man shot at 6 police officers in Beaver County manhunt, then claimed it wasn’t him

A man who forced the closure of I-15 in Beaver County for hours Monday after shooting at police and prompting a large search, now face numerous criminal charges. (Utah Highway Patrol)

BEAVER — A man who allegedly shot at police and prompted a large manhunt, forcing the closure of I-15 in Beaver County for several hours, now faces nearly two dozen criminal charges.

William Jason Brooks, 41, of Denver, was charged Thursday in 5th District Court with two counts of attempted murder, a first-degree felony, in addition to 18 more felony crimes and three misdemeanors.

The incident began on Monday about 5 p.m. when Utah Highway Patrol troopers attempted to pull over a vehicle spotted going at least 100 mph on I-15, according to a police booking affidavit. The vehicle refused to stop and reached a speed of 118 mph as troopers pursued, the affidavit states.

The vehicle eventually pulled over into the median and the driver, Brooks, got out and ran into the hills off to the side of the freeway while two other passengers put their hands out the window and surrendered to police, according to the affidavit.

Officers from several jurisdictions were called to contain the area and search for Brooks, including a police K-9 team.

“While tracking the suspect, the K-9 team reported that the suspect began shooting at them. The K-9 team reported that they could hear the bullets zipping by them and saw bullets impacting the ground near them. They took cover and called for more resources,” the affidavit states.

The search continued into the night and the Department of Public Safety helicopter equipped with thermal cameras was called to the scene, according to the affidavit.

“These cameras allow the user to observe heat produced by living things. The helicopters soon located the suspect hiding in some brush, near where the K-9 team had been shot at,” the affidavit states. “While searching for the suspect, the helicopter pilot reported that the suspect began firing a gun at them.”

A SWAT team was then deployed to the scene using an armored vehicle.

“The suspect was ordered to surrender. Instead, the suspect fled into the surrounding brush and began making his way back toward I-15. The suspect eventually surrendered,” according to the affidavit.

Brooks is accused of shooting at six police officers. When he was taken into custody, he claimed “there must have been someone else shooting at the officers because it wasn’t him,” the affidavit states.

Brooks was a wanted parole fugitive with a criminal history that includes convictions for multiple felonies, according to court documents. In the vehicle that he abandoned, police found distributable amounts of cocaine, meth, heroin fentanyl and ecstasy, along with drug paraphernalia, the affidavit states. A gun reported stolen out of Castle Rock, Colorado, was also recovered after Brooks was arrested, according to police.

In addition to attempted murder, Brooks was charged Thursday with six counts of assault on a police officer, six counts of drug possession with intent to distribute, theft and possession of a weapon by a restricted person, all second-degree felonies; failing to stop at the command of police, discharge of a firearm, and unlawful acquisition of a financial card, all third-degree felonies; two counts of possession someone else’s ID cards, a class A misdemeanor; and speeding, an infraction.

More than 50 law enforcers participated in the search effort which forced the closure of I-15 from Beaver to the I-70 turnoff for about seven hours. Brooks was later booked at the Beaver County Jail.

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