Utah church shooting victim identified

June 17, 2013 at 5:28 PM   |   Comments

OGDEN, Utah, June 17 (UPI) -- Police have identified the victim of Sunday's shooting in a Roman Catholic church in Utah as James Evans; his son-in-law was charged with the crime.

Evans' wife, Tara, said a last-second movement may have saved her husband's life, The Salt Lake Tribune said Monday.

"He turned his head at the right time," she said. "If he hadn't turned his head he could have been hit [directly] in the back of the head."

Charles Richard Jennings, 35 was taken into custody Sunday several hours after the shooting just before noon at St. James Catholic Church,in Ogden, Utah, KSTU-TV, Salt Lake City reported.

Evans remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition, police said.

"This was not a random act of violence. The suspect was specific in the desired target and action," police said in a statement following the incident Sunday.

Authorities allege Jennings was able to hit Evans in the back of the head despite the last second motion. The incident took place during the church service.

Police said Jennings then stole a pickup truck at gunpoint to make his getaway. The truck was found abandoned along a highway north of Ogden where it had run out of gas. He was arrested in Tremonton later that day.

Police said Jennings was trying to flee to Idaho.

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