Costa Mesa man shot, injured in Wyoming

A Costa Mesa man was shot and injured in southwestern Wyoming after he picked up two hitchhikers, authorities there said.

A family found the 54-year-old lying on a roadway off Little Firehole Road, near Rock Springs, about 10 a.m. Sunday, according to Sweetwater County sheriff's deputies.

Deputies said Roy and Jessica Fritts were camping with the victim near the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area when a dispute arose and the victim was shot several times. It was unclear who pulled the trigger.

The couple took off in the victim's 1994 Chevrolet van, deputies said.

That led to a 30-mile pursuit westward into Utah by authorities after the van was spotted on Interstate 80, according to a news release from Sweetwater County sheriffs.

In Utah, deputies used road spikes to stop the vehicle, but the Frittses took off on foot to Echo, where officials said they tried to carjack another vehicle at gunpoint but couldn't operate the manual transmission.

The two then tried to enter a residence in the tiny town along the 80 and 84 interstates, but were unable to get in and instead fled into a field, according to the release.

Jessica Fritts, 35, was taken into custody without further incident by deputies in Summit County, according to the Park Record newspaper.

Roy Fritts, 33, was taken into custody after a brief standoff, the release said. He was wanted on a parole violation warrant in Oregon and was considered a fugitive.

The two are also suspected of stealing a Chevy Silverado in Nebraska, but that truck was abandoned.

While hitchhiking, the Frittses are believed to have encountered the Costa Mesa man while he was traveling back to California.

The man was first taken to Memorial Hospital in Rock Springs and later to Intermountain Healthcare in Murray, Utah, where he was listed in stable condition, according to Det. Dick Blust of the Sweetwater County sheriff's office.

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