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Investigators confirmed Monday that a man shot and wounded by a Unified Police officer who mistook the man for the suspect who had just shot the lawman was an innocent bystander who was washing his car when bullets began flying over the weekend.
"He was uninvolved [in the shooting] and is not a suspect in any criminal activity," said UPD Lt. Lex Bell. "He apparently was just there washing his car."
The wounded man was identified by his family as 30-year-old Dustin Evans.
"The family would like to thank everyone for the outpour of thoughts and prayers," family members said in a written statement. "We appreciate your support on this long road to recovery, but we ask for our privacy at this time. Thank you"
Evans who was apparently running for cover Friday night when he was shot suffered initially life-threatening injuries to an arm and a leg from the two rounds fired by Officer Cory Tsouras, but his condition has improved steadily since and he is expected to recover.
Jeremy Michael Bowden the suspect who allegedly shot Tsouras was not injured.
Bowden, 32, remained in the Salt Lake County jail on Monday, held without bail on suspicion of aggravated attempted murder, as well as outstanding warrants.
Winder had earlier described the situation at the car wash as "extremely dynamic," noting that Bowden's description, including clothing, was very similar to that of the injured man.
At about 8:30 p.m. Friday, a UPD officer was running license plate numbers of vehicles in the parking lot of a business complex near 7200 South and State Street. One vehicle showed as stolen, and at about the same time Bowden walked out of a business and ran when he spotted the officer's cruiser.
As Bowden fled through a field, Tsouras, who was responding to the first officer's call for backup, pulled into the Rocket Express Car Wash, 150 W. 7200 South, to cut him off.
There, Bowden allegedly opened fire on Tsouras' car. At least eight shots ripped into the cruiser, one of the rounds thudding into the chest area of Tsouras' bulletproof vest.
Next, Tsouras saw a man Evans trying to get inside the building at the car wash. Believing he was the same man who had just shot him, he fired twice. Evans' leg wound was the most serious; officers likely saved his life as they immediately rendered first aid, including application of a tourniquet, the sheriff's office stated.
Meanwhile, other officers spotted Bowden jumping over a fence into an apartment complex. Officers closed in and, after a struggle that included use of a Taser, finally subdued him. Police also recovered a firearm at the scene that was believed used to shoot Tsouras.
Bowden has a long criminal history. Court records show that the most recent of several arrest warrants issued for him came Oct. 1, after he missed a court appearance in a drug and weapons case.
Bowden, a convicted felon from 2008 in a theft by receiving case, was caught with several knives, three pellet guns and a stolen license plate during a search incident to his arrest last month on other outstanding warrants, court records also reveal.
Police also found scales, pipes, suspected methamphetamine, suspected psilocybin mushrooms and suspected marijuana inside a backpack Bowden was carrying, according to charges.
Tsouras, a three-year UPD veteran, has been placed on paid administrative leave, which is the standard procedure in shootings.