The shooting came five hours after county dispatchers got a 3 a.m. call about a stolen vehicle. About 7 a.m. Wednesday, sheriff's deputies found the vehicle with Searle still inside.
The vehicle was on a county dirt road about 2 miles east of Spring City, a small community between Mount Pleasant and Ephraim.
The deputies called UHP and Ephraim police for backup and set up a containment perimeter. But when the officers tried to apprehend Searle just after 8 a.m. , Searle allegedly began driving toward a UHP trooper.
"[At that] point the trooper fired two rounds at the suspect [and] both rounds hit the vehicle. Fragmented pieces of one round hit the suspect in the right arm," UHP said in a statement.
The trooper was placed on paid administrative lead pending the official results of a shooting review.
The Sanpete County Sheriff's Office, under the direction of the county attorney, is leading the investigation. The Utah Attorney General's Office and UHP internal affairs are also part of the investigation.
Searle was charged a month ago in 6th District Judicial Court in Manti with drug possession, for allegedly having methamphetamine on Aug. 15, and disorderly conduct. He has a scheduling hearing set for Nov. 13.