LOCAL NEWS

UPDATE: Man killed by police was soldier in Utah National Guard

Feb 18, 2022, 4:10 PM | Updated: Feb 25, 2022, 9:20 am

UPDATE:  The man shot and killed by police Thursday night in West Jordan was a member of the Utah National Guard.

The guard’s public affairs office released a statement Friday afternoon stating that Spc. Zachery Alvarenga joined the guard in 2019 and was a parachute rigger assigned to Alpha Company, Group Support Battalion, 19th Special Forces Group.

“We are devastated to hear that one of our Soldiers was involved in this tragic incident,” Col. Paul Peters, commander of the 19th Special Forces Group said. “Our condolences go out to Alvarenga’s family, to Maya’s handler, to the victims who were immediately impacted, and to all others who have been affected. We will be providing counseling and other necessary support services to our Soldiers. These kinds of horrible events affect us all.”

Alvarenga was identified Friday by police. He was confirmed to be an employee of Utah’s Department of Corrections then later was named as a member of the Utah National Guard.

The guard said it recognized Alvarenga’s actions precipitated this event and said it supports the efforts of local authorities in the ongoing investigation.

The original story is below:

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah – A police chase ended in South Jordan Thursday night with shots fired and a K-9 and suspect were both killed.

The suspect has been identified as 25-year-old Zachary Tyler Alvarenga, of West Jordan.

Corrections officials confirmed to KSL Radio that Alvarenga was a correctional officer. Police previously confirmed Alvarenga and the woman were prior coworkers.

K-9 Belgian Malinois Maya with the West Jordan Police Department was killed in the line of duty.

According to West Jordan police public information officer Sam Winkler, police responded to a report of an aggravated assault of a woman held against her will by Alvarenga with a handgun around 11 a.m.

The woman was able to flee her Alvarenga and police located him soon after at Jordan Landing. Police began a pursuit and then stopped for safety reasons.

Alvarenga was located later on in the evening, and another chase initiated but was terminated shortly after for the safety of the general public.

According to police Alvarenga then threatened relatives of the woman with his handgun at which point police were able to locate him again.

Ultimately, a third pursuit was initiated. According to a statement from police, “The suspect abandoned his vehicle – fleeing on foot with officers in pursuit. The suspect was armed with a handgun and was ultimately shot by officers in the parking lot of the Jordan Credit Union at 1750 West 11400 South in South Jordan. The suspect was pronounced dead on scene.”

“While fleeing from officers, Mr. Alvarenga fired rounds toward the pursuing officers. PSD Maya was struck by gunfire and succumbed to her injuries. She saved the lives of many officers that night and will be remembered as a hero,” a statement given Friday stated.

A total of eight officers fired at Mr. Alvarenga- striking and killing him. The statement listed the officers who fired shots at Alvarenga as the following:

“Four (4) officers were from West Jordan Police Department, two (2) officers were from South Jordan Police Department, and two (2) officers were from Unified Police Department. These officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation as is standard protocol for an officer involved critical incident.”

Several police agency vehicles sat parked outside the veterinary hospital Thursday night, with an honor guard standing watch. They then took off on a procession to escort the body.

The release stated, “funeral arrangements are anticipated for Monday, February 28, 2022, at 11:00 AM. The location is still to be determined and will be reserved for officers and fellow K-9 handlers. There will be a procession for Maya’s last patrol and the public is encouraged to line the streets. Once the exact location of the procession is finalized, it will be released.”

In the meantime, a GoFundMe* page has been set up to raise funds to help the West Jordan Police Department purchase a new K9.


*KSL-TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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UPDATE: Man killed by police was soldier in Utah National Guard