Two escaped killers were captured on a Wyoming highway after stealing a sport utility vehicle and leading police on an 11-mile chase that left one of the convicts critically wounded, authorities said.
Danny Martin Gallegos, 49, and Juan Carlos Diaz-Arevalo, 27, who escaped from a Utah jail a week ago, had apparently stolen guns and the SUV at knifepoint from a retired police officer Saturday night, said Detective Dick Blust of the Sweetwater County, Wyo., sheriff’s office.
A Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper blew out the vehicle’s tires with a spike strip and both men got out holding guns, but neither appeared to have fired, Blust said.
Gallegos was shot in the stomach by a sheriff’s deputy and taken to a hospital in critical condition, authorities said. Diaz-Arevalo bolted on foot but was captured by authorities and booked into the Sweetwater County jail.
“It looks like they were hunkered down somewhere in the area, just like we kind of thought,” Chief Deputy Jim Thompson of the U.S. Marshals Service in Utah told The Salt Lake Tribune. “We don’t know if they ran out of food or money, or left because they thought police were getting close.”
Former officer tied up, threatened
Authorities believed Gallegos and Diaz Arevalo entered a home in Manila not far from the jail at about 7:30 Saturday and tied up a 72-year-old former Salt Lake City police officer with duct tape, threatened him with a knife and stole the keys to his SUV, which had a shotgun and handgun in it, Blust said.
The man freed himself and called 911 at about 9:30 p.m., authorities said.
A sheriff’s deputy spotted the vehicle in Green River, Wyo., off Interstate 80, setting off the chase. The men were caught between Green River and Rock Springs, Wyo. on I-80.
The pair had climbed a fence and dashed from the Daggett County jail 120 miles east of Salt Lake City on Sept. 23. They had been sent to the jail over the summer because of a lack of room in the state prison.
Diaz-Arevelo was convicted of murder and child abuse in 2006. Gallegos was convicted of aggravated murder in 1991.