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Authorities on Monday identified the man who was accused of plowing his pickup truck into a group of cyclists participating in a weekend race in a mountain town in Arizona, which left several drivers seriously injured.
Shawn Michael Chock, 35, fled Saturday’s accident on Show Low, about a three-hour drive northeast of Phoenix, and was shot and killed by police while they were chasing him, said Kristine Sleighter, a police spokeswoman. Chock, who lives in the nearby White Mountain Lakes, is still being hospitalized in stable condition, and authorities are trying to determine a motive for the crash.
Prosecutors have been working with police investigators, but Navajo prosecutor Bradley Carlyon said his office usually doesn’t bring charges against suspects in the hospital until they’re released.
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Online court records in Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, show that someone matching Chock’s name and age has been arrested in the past for drug or alcohol driving and assault. In 2007 he was charged with aggravated assault. Several months later, he was charged with gun misconduct and found guilty of reduced charges.
In 2010, three DUI-related charges, including a third DUI, were dropped under an agreement in which Chock pleaded guilty to the crimes of aggravated DUI and shoplifting. He also advocated no challenge for grievous bodily harm.
Records show that Chock was paroled in 2012 but broke the terms in May 2013. According to court records, Chock turned down a chance at parole and applied for a jail term. He was sentenced to two years and eight months but was given more than 280 days for the time served before the sentencing. Online Arizona Justice Department records show he went to jail in May 2013 but was paroled in October 2014.
On Saturday, Chock is accused of riding his truck on cyclists who gathered just before 7:30 a.m. for the annual 58-mile (93-kilometer) Bike the Bluff competition. It is the state championship road race that determines Arizona’s champions of the year in categories such as professionals, men, women and teenagers and attracted hundreds of participants. Witnesses reported seeing the bodies of cyclists flying left and right.
Tony Quinones, a cyclist who saw the accident, said some drivers first wondered if the driver fell asleep behind the wheel. But Quinones said he saw the man race towards the cyclists.
“He went straight for us,” said Quinones.
Seven cyclists were admitted to hospitals, six in critical condition. The other was in a stable condition. Sleighter said she didn’t have an update on how they are doing.
“We are deeply saddened by our drivers’ tragic accident,” said the race organizers on their website. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all concerned”
After colliding with the cyclists, the driver of the pickup hit a telephone pole, and the cyclists ran towards the truck and started pounding on the windows and yelling at the driver to get out, witnesses say.
Quinones said the driver pressed the accelerator and stepped back, drove down the street, made a U-turn, and then headed back towards the cyclists, but didn’t hit them again and drove away.
He was shot by the police outside a nearby hardware store. Chock failed to act when officers tried to arrest him, said Grace Payne, a spokeswoman for Show Low, but authorities have not yet released details of the circumstances that led to the shooting.
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The Associated Press called a cell phone number listed for Chock that appeared not to be set up, leaving messages to two people who may be his relatives.
In a June 2020 post on a Facebook page that appears to be owned by Chock, he wrote that he was only a few weeks away from being 30 months sober and feeling “on top of the world”.
“Only God can turn me off,” wrote Chock. “Man, I love the sober life.”
Show Low police say they are handing the investigation to the Arizona Department of Public Safety.