LEHI, Utah — Police Capt. Harold Terry has so much experience making traffic stops, he has trained officers in how to pull over strangers and determine if they are dangerous.
But even that experience couldn't keep him out of harm's way Monday morning. Terry stopped a driver who, police said, drew a pistol and shot him twice in the head.
Terry survived and is expected to recover, police said. Other officers arrived and shot and killed the 34-year-old woman moments after she wounded Terry, creating a bloody scene on one of the town's busiest streets.
Lehi police on Monday said they do not know what provoked the woman. KUTV Channel 2 reported that police confirmed the woman's name was Kelly Wark.
Sometime before 8:45 a.m., she arrived at a gas station on the corner of 850 East and Main Street. The woman told the attendant she wanted to buy gas, said David Mayson, the station's manager, but then the woman changed her mind as the attendant was in the midst of scanning her debit card.
All the while the woman acted "distracted," Mayson said.
Video footage from the gas station shows the woman walking to her tan Honda Accord and standing there "staring off into space," Mayson said. She drove away after a minute or so and the attendant called police to report the woman might be driving under the influence.
Terry, a 55-year-old who has worked for Lehi police for 16 years, heard the call over his radio and responded. Sgt. Darren Paul said dispatcher records show Terry reported stopping the Accord at 8:52 a.m. near 1000 E. Main Street. Paul said Terry read the Washington state license plate number on the Accord to dispatchers before approaching the car.
Other Lehi officers who arrived to assist Terry with the stop saw him speak with the woman inside the car. The driver was still seated in her car when the assisting officers saw and heard the woman fire two shots from a .38-caliber revolver, Paul said.
Both bullets struck Terry on the left side of the head, with at least one bullet striking above the ear and exiting behind the ear, Paul said. The driver exited the car as the officers drew their weapons and ran toward her and Terry.
Two officers fired on the woman, Paul said. Terry also fired one shot but it struck the car, Paul said. The woman, dressed in cargo pants and a dark shirt, died at the scene.
Terry communicated with medical personnel at the scene and later at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. Paul said Terry underwent at least one surgery Monday that removed bullet fragments. He was listed in stable condition Monday.
"We are optimistic and hopeful for a full recovery," Paul said.
Along with having plenty of his own experience, Terry trained other officers from Lehi and around the state in how to make traffic stops. The protocol includes specific ways to park behind the suspect's vehicle and how to walk upon and interact with the driver. Paul said it appears all those protocols were followed Monday.
Paul declined to release personal details about Terry, except to say he is a Lehi native. Terry's former neighbor, Tamara Bates, described Terry and his wife as a nice couple who worked in their yard and attended a local LDS ward.
"Whenever I saw him he was smiling and teasing," Bates said. "He would always pull out policeman jokes."