Idaho police captured a man Friday afternoon suspected of shooting and killing a motorist in northern Utah earlier this week after a two-day manhunt.
Officers arrested 45-year-old Jonathan Llana about 3:15 p.m. in an area of southern Idaho outside of Pocatello about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from where the suspect crashed his car into a canal Wednesday night after a police pursuit, according to news releases from Idaho State Police and the Utah Highway Patrol. LLana had broken into a house in the area and stolen an all-terrain vehicle, they said. No officers or residents were injured.
The Los Angeles man is charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with the Wednesday night shooting that killed Dennis Gwyther, 50, of Salt Lake City and injured Gwyther’s passenger.
The victim’s husband, Matt Gwyther, said in a statement he wants “swift justice” for the suspect and celebrated Llana’s arrest on his Facebook account .
Matt Gwyther said in a Facebook post that he and Dennis Gwyther married on Dec. 10, 2013, the day gay marriage was legalized in Utah. He said Dennis Gwyther was the “love of his life” who enjoyed being the “bonus dad” to his two teenage children and enjoyed having fun and laughing.
He said Dennis Gwyther loved kidding around and playing jokes and was like a “kid inside an adult body.” He said he loved gadgets and was a genius with technology, loved writing and did sound and lighting for clubs in Salt Lake City.
Dennis Gwyther was also a strong advocate for LGBTQ rights, his husband said.
Utah officials said the two victims were heading toward Idaho on Interstate 84 in northern Utah when the suspect fired multiple rounds at their vehicle. Idaho troopers chased Llana’s vehicle until it crashed into a canal in southern Idaho. Llana then fled on foot, police said.
The motive of the shooting is still unknown, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Nick Street said.
Utah Bureau of Investigation Sgt. J.T. Jensen told reporters Friday night that it’s unknown if the shooting was random, but that authorities believe it was unprovoked.
Gwyther worked as a flight attendant for SkyWest Airlines, company spokesman Wes Horrocks said. The company is shocked and saddened by the killing, Horrocks said.
McCombs reported from Salt Lake City.