A Utah County family is left confused and with plenty of medical bills after they say their daughter was shot while officers attempted to apprehend a suspect.
Julia Jones was allegedly sitting in the passenger seat of the truck driven by 27-year-old Samantha Bencomo of Nephi, who was taken into custody by Orem police officers on Friday.
According to a fundraiser organized through Facebook by Laura Jones to help cover medical expenses, Julia Jones was struck by a bullet from an Orem police officer’s service weapon in the face. Medical teams rushed Julia Jones into surgery, and she is expected to be in the hospital for an undetermined amount of time.
On Friday, officers attempted to stop Bencomo after she allegedly hit a black Jeep Wrangler that was for sale and parked in the Leiva Motors lot, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest.
Bencomo did not remain at the scene and led the owner for the car dealership on a pursuit. An officer in a marked patrol car was able to stop in front of the truck and put an end to the initial pursuit.
According to arrest documents, while an officer got out of his patrol vehicle in an attempt to apprehend Bencomo, Bencomo backed her truck up and stopped before accelerating at a high rate of speed, intentionally maneuvering her vehicle in an attempt to run over an officer. The truck struck the officer, but did not cause serious injury.
A short time after fleeing the scene, Bencomo crashed her truck and was apprehended at 980 W. 1600 North in Orem.
Bencomo had several felony warrants for retail theft and possession of a controlled substance, and she was taken into custody under suspicion of attempted murder, failure to stop at command of law enforcement and failure to remain at the scene of an accident.
Arrest documents make no mention of a passenger or the use of a firearm. However, Orem resident Laura Jones says her daughter was in the vehicle at the time of the arrest.
The Daily Herald attempted to contact Orem Police about the matter, but information was not immediately provided.
Although a shooting was not mentioned in the probable cause statement, Orem police announced the incident on Facebook on Friday just before 8 p.m.
“Officers are on scene of an officer involved shooting which led to a vehicle chase that ended in the area of 1600 North near I-15,” a spokesperson for the Orem Police Department said in a statement posted to Facebook.
The Orem Police Department is expected to release more information on the incident Wednesday.