This is an archived article that was published on in 2006, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

LEHI - Up until two years ago, Art Henderson appeared to be at the top of his game.

A Lehi police officer, he worked on the SWAT team, taught a self-defense class for women and instructed his fellow officers on when it was appropriate to use force.

By 2004, he began to come undone. He was using pain medications while on duty, lehi Police Chief Chad Smith said. He assaulted a man who was dating his wife, a conviction the department said led to his termination in July 2004.

The assault charge would be the first of three filed against him during the next 18 months.

His wife, Natalie Henderson, who says he abused and threatened to kill her, later filed for divorce, sparking a bitter custody battle.

Finally, on the streets he once patrolled as a peace officer, Art Henderson apparently snapped Friday morning.

After crashing his pickup truck into a car driven by his estranged wife, Henderson shot and wounded her boyfriend, Craig Trimble, who was in the passenger seat, police and witnesses said. He then allegedly fired at police officers - his former colleagues - who fired back, striking him in his left knee and foot.

Henderson is expected to live but likely will face three counts of attempted aggravated murder, charges that could land him in prison for five years to life.

"He went from everything going good for him to a point where he gets in a firefight with us," said Lehi police chief Smith. "Everything went to hell in a handcart for him."

The buildup: Family and acquaintances say Art Henderson, 38, and Trimble, 35, had a rocky relationship, at times friendly, at times antagonistic.

Cassidy Cedarstrom, 11, a friend of the Henderson children, said Art Henderson and Trimble were at the Henderson home a month ago, talking and laughing.

"They seemed like they were real nice to each other," Cassidy said. "Art told Craig not to make him jealous because he still loved Natalie."

According to documents filed in Provo's 4th District Court, the Hendersons were married April 19, 1990, and have five children together, ages 10, 13, 15, 17 and 19.

Their marriage soured in 2004. Natalie Henderson filed for a divorce from her husband on Jan. 19, 2005, according to documents filed by Art Henderson. Trimble, he claimed, was already living with her at the time.

Less than a month later, Natalie Henderson asked the court for a protective order. In it, she described an October 2004 fight at their Lehi home.

"I was in my room . . . when Art came in [and] grabbed the phone out of my hands and . . . started grabbing me," she wrote. "I tried to run and he grabbed me and put my head through the wall."

The woman said she then yelled for help and Art Henderson picked up a box of bullets and threw them at her head. "Art then came after me again telling me he was going to kill me." One of the couple's teenage sons tried to hold her husband back, while the other yelled at his father to stop, she wrote. In another incident about the same time, she said her husband struck her in the chest and arm and threatened to shoot her at her work.

Other fights she described:

l In December 2003, her husband "took out his gun and held it to my head."

l A similar incident with a death threat occurred in August 2002. "He pulled over right in front of my parents' house and told me he was going to kill me."

l In June 2004, Art Henderson kicked and bruised her after she caught him talking on the phone to his girlfriend.

She asked the court to apply the protective order to Trimble as well. The order was granted, but two days later she asked 4th District Judge James R. Taylor to dismiss it, saying she believed that would help her divorce move along.

"Art has promised that we can share joint custody of the children and I can stay in the house with my children. We have also agreed to visitation and that he would continue to stay away from me. I do not feel that I am in any danger from him."

The judge refused to immediately dismiss the protective order, saying the allegations of abuse were "very serious and significant. . . . It is simply incredible that 14 years of that kind of abuse can be resolved in less than 72 hours."

But after a hearing on March 2, the judge dismissed the protective order.

In addition to his marital problems, Art Henderson has been prosecuted on at least three misdemeanor assault charges, including domestic assault, during the past two years. One charge accused him of attacking another man on June 26, 2004.

He allegedly committed another assault Jan. 1, 2005. In that case, according to a Utah County sheriff's deputy, he assaulted another man. The case is pending in Justice Court.

The sheriff's office filed another charge against Henderson on Dec. 18, this one involving domestic violence.

The shooting: At 9:31 a.m. Friday, Utah County dispatchers got a frantic call from Natalie Henderson and Trimble: Art Henderson was chasing them in his Toyota pickup.

Minutes later, Art Henderson rammed his truck into the back end of the couple's Chrysler Sebring, which Natalie Henderson was driving, at 924 W. 1500 North.

"I actually thought the car was pulling the truck up the road and somebody messed up," said Gary Barnes, Natalie Henderson's uncle, who lives at 958 W. 1500 North and witnessed the shooting.

Natalie continued driving east, and as she attempted to turn left into her father's driveway, Art rammed her car broadside, causing it to spin around and face west, Barnes said.

As Art's pickup continued coasting toward her car, he jumped out and fired eight to 12 rounds with a revolver through her window and past her face, striking Trimble in the leg and abdomen.

"I couldn't believe what I was seeing," Barnes said.

Trimble managed to flee into the home of Bill West, two doors east of Barnes.

Art Henderson then went back to his truck, grabbed a rifle with a scope, and pointed it east toward Lehi police, who had just arrived on the scene, Barnes said.

One approaching patrol car stopped and threw the car into reverse, he said. Police in at least four patrol cars took position around 1500 North and Trinnaman Lane.

Henderson, whom Lehi police Sgt. Darren Paul described as a "well-trained officer," fired multiple rounds at the officers, striking one patrol car's windshield.

The officers returned fire, hitting him in the knee with a shotgun and the foot with a .40-caliber handgun, Paul said.

Police Chief Smith expressed dismay that Henderson put his officers in a deadly force situation.

"It's a mean thing to do to a fellow officer," the chief said. "It's just not a fair thing he did to these guys."

After Art Henderson was taken into custody, Barnes pushed the car forward so he could open Natalie Henderson's door and help her out.

"She was in shock," he said.

Chirine Touati, 27, who lives on Trinnaman Lane, said she heard at least 10 "big rounds."

''I looked outside and . . . police yelled, 'Get back in!' . . . It's kind of scary when it's close to home,'' Touati said.

Henderson was taken by ambulance to American Fork Hospital. He was released late Friday and booked into jail on suspicion of three counts of aggravated attempted homicide. Trimble was flown to LDS Hospital by helicopter and was expected to survive.

Because the incident involved Lehi police officers, it will be investigated by Provo police.

Trimble, a convicted felon, likely will be part of their scrutiny. His criminal record dates back 17 years and includes convictions for forgery, theft, drug possession and weapons charges, according to state court records.

At 18, he was charged with burglary in Salt Lake County. A few years later, he racked up several charges for unlawful possession of alcohol in Salt Lake, Iron and Washington counties. He was charged in 1993 in Salt Lake County with assault on a police officer.

On May 26, 1996, Trimble was sent to prison for theft. He was in and out of prison on parole violations until his release in August 2000, said Utah Department of Corrections spokesman Jack Ford.

Trimble returned to prison in February 2003 on drug and weapons convictions in Salt Lake and Davis counties.


Tribune reporters Elizabeth Neff, Stephen Hunt, Justin Hill, Elisabeth Nardi and correspondent Michael Koberlein contributed to this story.