Suspect in Cedar City parking lot hit-and-run arrested, faces murder charges

Responders at the scene of a fatal hit-and-run incident in a parking lot, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 7, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Police arrested a man on Wednesday suspected of intentionally hitting and killing another man with his car Monday night in the Home Depot parking lot in Cedar City.

Updated Sept. 9, 5:13 p.m. to indicate that a suspect has been arrested, one day after the vehicle was located.

Updated Sept. 9, 8 p.m. to include jail booking photo.

The incident occurred at approximately 7 p.m. Monday in the northeast corner of the parking lot at 1518 Providence Center Drive.

Cedar City Police Sgt. Clint Pollock told Cedar City News investigators believe the 37-year-old man was intentionally struck or run over by another man.

The man, who has not yet been identified by authorities pending notification of family, was transported by Gold Cross Ambulance from the parking lot at approximately 7:30 p.m. and was taken to Cedar City Hospital. Although an Intermountain Life Flight helicopter was dispatched and did respond, Pollock said the man “succumbed to his wounds” a short time after arrival at Cedar City Hospital.

Wednesday afternoon, the Cedar City Police Department issued an updated news release stating that a suspect had been arrested.

Jail booking photo of Jacob Schmidt, Sept. 9, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News / Cedar City News

“The vehicle was reported by a citizen as abandoned just west of Cedar City on a dirt road hidden behind a tree,” the release stated. “Investigators gathered evidence and information from witnesses and the vehicle that led to the identity of the suspect.”

The suspect, identified by police as 25-year-old Jacob Schmidt of Cedar City, was reportedly taken into custody during a traffic stop Wednesday, whereupon he was booked into the Iron County Jail on suspicion of murder, a first-degree felony.

In a description provided by police when the suspect and vehicle were still at large Tuesday morning, the suspect had been described as wearing a bandanna over his face at the time of the incident and was driving an older model gray Dodge Stratus with no license plate.

Cedar City Police have released this surveillance image showing the Dodge Stratus suspected of being involved a fatal hit-and-run incident in the Home Depot parking lot, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 7, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Cedar City Police Department, St. George News / Cedar City News

“The right rear passenger tire appears to either be missing the hubcap or it’s using a spare,” Pollock said of the Stratus, adding that it may also have some front-end damage. The vehicle in question was seen in a surveillance photo provided to the police department.

“We’re asking the public to contact us if they observe this vehicle,” Pollock said, asking people to either call 911 or the police department’s office number at 435-586-2956

Although the circumstances that led up to the incident are not yet known, witnesses at the scene said they overheard the men arguing beforehand and said the car drove up onto an adjacent sidewalk and curb before speeding away.

The Cedar City Police Department extended its sympathies to the victim’s family for their loss in a news release issued by the department Tuesday morning.

“This is an active and ongoing investigation,” the release added, “and we will release more information as it becomes available.”

Pollock added Wednesday afternoon that the victim still has yet to be publicly identified, pending family notification.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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