The deputies were doing campus security on the sheriff’s office property and around the Salt Lake County Metro Jail when an altercation began around 10:30 a.m. local time, Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said in a news briefing.
Rivera told reporters there was “some type of altercation” but that it was unclear what led to it.
According to a news release from the sheriff’s office, the deputies encountered a man in his 30s on the lawn near the sheriff’s office building and when they approached, the man “produced a handgun and began to fire.”
Both deputies were taken to the hospital for treatment, Rivera said. One is in stable condition after being shot in the face and the other is in critical condition after being shot in the eye, the sheriff added.
The man who was killed was not identified.
“These types of incidents are really devastating for the department. And we hope and we pray that our deputies will be okay,” Rivera said. “The environment for law enforcement right now is extremely dangerous and we know that.”
Rivera added the jail had gone on lockdown but that there was no indication the jail was in any danger.
The critical incident team has been called to investigate the shooting, she said.
Sen. Mitt Romney responded to the shooting on Twitter, writing, “Ann’s and my hearts are heavy with reports of two Salt Lake County deputies shot and hospitalized. We join them and their families in prayer and hope.”