Officer shot in face in Jerome County, suspect identified

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by KTVB

NWCN.com

Posted on February 8, 2011 at 11:23 PM

Updated Wednesday, Feb 9 at 10:28 AM

JEROME COUNTY, Idaho -- A Jerome Police officer was shot in the face and a suspect was wounded Monday night after a high-speed chase following an attempted traffic stop near the Jerome city limits.

Authorities say Jerome Police Officer Dennis Clark attempted to stop Chris Taylor, 29, for traffic violations near the east side of Jerome.  Taylor failed to stop and led officers on a five-mile, high-speed pursuit that ended when Taylor lost control of his car and rolled the vehicle into a farm field.

Three Jerome Police officers and one Jerome County Sheriff's deputy were involved in the pursuit during which gunfire was exchanged between Taylor and two police officers.  Both Taylor and Officer Clark suffered gunshot wounds.  Their injuries are described as non-life threatening.

Clark was flown by air ambulance to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise, where he is being treated for a gunshot wound to the face.

Taylor was taken to a Twin Falls-area hospital.  He has since been released and is now being held in the Twin Falls County Jail on an agents warrant for a probation violation.

Idaho Department of Correction officials say Taylor is on probation for two convictions.  On July, 12, 2010, out of Twin Falls County, he was given a 10-year sentence for grand theft by possession and a 7-year sentence for possession of a controlled substance.  Both sentences were suspended and the court ordered Taylor to serve four years of probation.

Taylor also has a prior felony conviction from 2004. He was given a four-to-five year sentence for eluding a police officer.  He was released from prison in July 2008.

Clark is an 11-year veteran with the Jerome Police Department and a reserve deputy for the Jerome County Sheriff's Office.  He is also a long-time member of the Jerome County Rural Fire Department.

The Magic Valley Critical Incident Task Force is investigating the shooting.  Detectives from several Magic Valley police and sheriff agencies, as well as Idaho State Police, are assisting in the investigation.

The prosecution is being handled by the Jerome County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.  The Twin Falls Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will conduct a separate investigation and review of the officer-involved shooting.

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