Probation agent shooting may have been burglary gone bad, agent named

ST. GEORGE — An agent with Arizona’s Mohave County Probation Department who was shot in St. George early Monday morning has been identified as Brian Stephens by a local attorney who works in the same building where the agent’s office is located and the shooting is alleged to have occurred.

Sometime around 6:20 a.m. Monday, a male probation agent was shot in the upper leg by a man wearing a white hockey mask, according to a statement released by St. George Police Monday. The shooter fled the scene on foot and his whereabouts were unknown when the statement was issued.

Mohave County Probation Department maintains an office at 435 East Tabernacle in St. George. Attorney Travis Christiansen maintains an office in the same building and said the Probation Department subleases its space from his firm, Travis R. Christiansen and Associates. Christiansen knows Stephens.

Stephens is one of two agents the Probation Department identified as staffing the St. George office and the only male of the two.

Attorney Travis Christiansen said the police have told him that they believe Stephens was shot after he walked in on a burglary in progress at his office on Tabernacle Street.

The police came to his house on the morning of the shooting to tell him what happened. “I was intercepted in front of my house,” Christiansen said. “The St. George Police patrolled outside of my home. They informed me of what was going on.”

A blood-stained strip of gauze remained on the floor of the Mohave County Probation Office where Travis Christiansen said that Probation and Parole agent Brian Thompson was shot after walked into a burglary in progress early Tuesday morning. November 12, 2013 | Photo by Michael Flynn, St. George News
A blood-stained strip of gauze remained on the floor of the Mohave County Probation Office where Travis Christiansen said that Probation and Parole agent Brian Thompson was shot after walked into a burglary in progress early Tuesday morning. November 12, 2013 | Photo by Michael Flynn, St. George News

It doesn’t appear that Stephens was intentionally targeted, Christiansen said, but rather that he was likely in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Essentially it was a burglary gone bad,” Christiansen said. “Brian Stephens walked in, interrupted him, and got shot.”

In addition to the Probation Department’s offices, Christiansen said, his own law firm’s suite appeared to have been broken into.

Public Information Officer, Sgt. Sam Despain, for the St. George Police Department said he would not confirm or deny Christiansen’s account of the incident. “We’ve already released all of the information that we can share at this time” Despain said.

Stephens’ wound did not appear to be life threatening, Christiansen said he was told by police at the scene, and Stephens is expected to make a full recovery.

St. George Police has asked public assistance in locating the suspect and as the investigation is ongoing, Despain said the Department will appreciate any information anyone can offer.  “Our investigators are actively investigating and looking at all options, possibilities and scenarios,” he said.

The suspect is described as a slender man, around 6 feet tall, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants at the time of the shooting. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Police Department at telephone 435-627-4301.

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Email: mflynn@stgnews.com

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

Probation Office Mohave
The Mohave County Probation Office, where an adult probation and parole officer was shot early Tuesday morning, is located in this office building on Tabernacle Street. November 12, 2013 | Photo by Michael Flynn, St. George News

 

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