Authorities arrested a woman Wednesday suspected of driving into a crowd of people on a Salt Lake City sidewalk near a homeless shelter and killing a woman.
The Utah Department of Corrections arrested Shutney Lee Kyzer and was holding her on a parole violation, Salt Lake City police said on Twitter. They had been searching for Kyzer since soon after Tuesday’s crash where the driver walked away from the scene. No details were given on where or how the prison officials found her.
Charges in the hit-and-run will be evaluated when the investigation is finished, police said.
The crash killed 27-year-old Kendra Griffiths and injured five others near The Road Home shelter, police said.
It was the latest in a series of violent run-ins that led a top lawmaker to call for the state to confront crime near the overcrowded shelter.
Days earlier, a homeless man attacked a minor-league baseball player with a crowbar during an attempted robbery in the same area.
State House Speaker Greg Hughes said he’s frustrated and concerned about the violence and that state leaders could discuss a possible role for the National Guard in bringing order if the situation doesn’t change.
“I don’t think we’re going to nice our way out of this,” he said.
The gentrifying downtown neighborhood near the arena where the NBA’s Utah Jazz play has long been a concern for authorities, but Hughes said the problem has gotten especially bad in recent years.
Police were investigating whether the driver intentionally drove onto the sidewalk Tuesday, Detective Robert Ungricht said. The car stopped when it hit a tree, and the female driver got out and ran away, police said. A passenger in the car stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators.
One person was critically injured in the crash but was expected to survive. The other four victims suffered minor injuries such as cuts and bruises, he said.
No phone number was publicly listed for Kyzer, and a lawyer who previously represented her in a different case didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.
A memorial near the scene of the crash honored the woman who died with a wreath of yellow flowers and handwritten messages.
“She was my best friend. We were helping each other get off drugs,” said Anthony Archuleta, 50, adding that the woman was due to get housing off the streets later this month.
Authorities say the area is frequented by drug dealers and has been hit by violence, including a police shooting that crucially wounded a teenage refugee.
“I just feel like we’re being targeted by people because we’re homeless, we’re drug addicts,” China Edwards said.
Source: Associated Press