Washington Woman Killed In Shootout In Utah

LEHI, UTAH — Police in Lehi, Utah say a woman who previously lived in Spokane opened fire on a police captain during a traffic stop, then was promptly shot and killed by backing officers.

The woman has been identified as 34-year-old Kelly Wark, originally from Gig Harbor, Washington. She had been previously married to a Spokane man and lived in the Inland Northwest recently as late as last year. 

It is unknown why Wark pulled a handgun and fired twice at Lehi Police Department Captain Harold Terry on Monday morning, hitting him once above the left ear. Capt. Terry is expected to survive and recover from the incident, which the Salt Lake Tribune described as creating “a bloody scene on one of the town’s busiest streets.”

Terry, 55, a member of the Lehi Police Department for 16 years, was in stable condition after surgery at a Provo hospital Monday, Lehi Police Sgt. Darren Paul said.

“We’re optimistic for a full recovery,” Paul said. “Obviously it’s a trying time for us,”

Paul added that it appeared Terry had followed protocol during the traffic stop. He fired one shot, striking the car.

“There is still no word on why Wark was acting disoriented before being pulled over on Monday nor why she would fire on a police officer,” the ABC affiliate in Salt Lake City reported
Tuesday morning.

However, in an article
posted to their website, the Provo Daily Herald quoted Kelly’s sister Erin saying that Kelly Wark had spent the last decade battling a severe mental illness since she was 25-years-old. Other than the unspecified mental illness she had no history of violence and no criminal history other than a few traffic violations.

The incident started when a gas station clerk in Lehi called police to report that a woman was slurring her words and seemed impaired while buying fuel in Lehi, a town about 30 miles south of Salt Lake City.

Capt. Terry stopped the Honda Accord with Washington license plates a few minutes later and as he talked to the driver she pulled out a .38 caliber revolver and fired two shots from the front seat, Sgt. Paul said.

Two officers backing up Terry then shot and killed Kelly Wark after she got out of her car.

The incident occurred Monday morning shortly before 9 a.m. and the identity of Wark was released by investigators early Tuesday. At the time of her death, Wark was attending the Utah College of Massage Therapy
 in Lindon, Utah near Provo.

According to ABC 4 in Salt Lake City an investigation is being undertaken by the Utah County Sheriff’s Department but initial indications are that all officer-involved shooting protocols were followed.

Kelly Wark lived in Spokane for a period of time and married Spokane resident Craig Hancock. When reached by phone Tuesday Hancock confirmed the couple met two years ago and had  married in 2007 but that union lasted only six months. Hancock said she never exhibited any signs of violent behavior however he did claim she was mentally ill. 

He said it was her periodic bouts with mental illness that led to their divorce and while Hancock said the details of the shooting in Lehi were horrifying and he’s heart broken he wasn’t surprised about his ex-wife’s death.

Lehi police officer shot in head, suspect killed
 – ABC 4 / Salt Lake City Woman killed during Lehi traffic stop identified
 – ABC 4 / Salt Lake City Slain woman in happier times
– Spokesman Review via the Salt Lake Tribune