June 26, 2007 in Nation/World

Inmate grabs gun, kills officer

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review
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SALT LAKE CITY – Authorities said a prison inmate out for a medical appointment wrested a gun from a corrections officer and killed him Monday, then led police on a high-speed chase in a stolen sport utility vehicle before his capture at a fast-food restaurant.

Curtis Allgier, whose wears a swastika and the words “skin head” on his heavily tattooed face, fired a shot in the Arby’s that hit no one before a customer at the restaurant grabbed the gun, Salt Lake City police Sgt. Rich Brede said.

“It sounds like he was heroic, even though he’s being humble about it,” he said of the 59-year-old customer.

Allgier, 27, was captured in an office and taken to jail to await charges.

Allgier got the gun from corrections officer Stephen Anderson while he was in an examination room at the University of Utah orthopedic center awaiting an MRI for back pain about 7:45 a.m., university Police Chief Scott Folsom said.

The procedure requires an officer to replace metal restraints with a plastic “flex cuff,” said Tom Patterson, director of the Utah Department of Corrections.

Anderson, 60, a 22-year-veteran, was shot in the head, authorities said.

Allgier forced two people out of a Ford Explorer outside the medical center, Brede said; neither was hurt.

Officers chased the SUV at speeds up to 100 mph.

Two Salt Lake City squad cars crashed into each other while trying to cut off Allgier, Brede said, but there were no serious injuries.

Police pursuing Allgier placed tire spikes on Interstate 215, but he still was able to drive several miles before bailing out in the Arby’s drive-through lane, police said.

Police did not identify the customer who wrested the gun from Allgier, saying he did not want to be identified.

KUTV said the customer was Eric Fullerton.

“Everybody’s calling me a hero. I’m not a hero,” he told the TV station.

“I just did what I had to do.”

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