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CHICAGO -- An off-duty Chicago police officer who had just finished eating breakfast Saturday morning at a pancake restaurant near Provo, Utah, may have saved the life of a man who was attacked in the parking lot by a mentally ill man wielding fabric scissors, police said.
Police in Orem, about 5 miles north of Provo, said a 28-year-old man from Boise, Idaho, and his girlfriend, who is from Provo, had finished breakfast at about 8 a.m. and were saying goodbye when Sergio W. Weffer, 33, of Salt Lake City approached them and said, "I'm sorry."
Weffer then began stabbing the man, slashing him in the face, neck and arm, police said. The man tumbled to the ground with Weffer on top of him.
The Chicago officer, a firearms instructor at the Chicago Police Academy who had been in Utah assisting at a law enforcement conference, was standing outside the restaurant waiting for his partner and planned to catch a flight back to Chicago after breakfast, police said.
The officer, whose identity Chicago and Orem police did not release, went to break up the fight and saw Weffer had what looked like a knife, police said. He pulled his firearm and ordered the man to stop, police said.
Instead, Weffer moved to stab the man again and the Chicago officer shot him. When Weffer tried to run away, the officer grabbed him and held him until Orem police arrived.
"We're glad he was there. We're glad he was prepared," Orem Police Sgt. Gordon Smith said. "Him stepping in meant the life of this other individual. I'm sure he never thought ... this would happen here. But we're very grateful he was there."
The Boise man was taken to Timpanogas Regional Hospital in Orem, where a hospital spokesman said he was treated and released later Saturday. Weffer was taken to Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo, where a spokeswoman said he was in fair condition.
Charges have not yet been filed against Weffer, a Utah County attorney's office employee said.
Two days before the attack, Weffer's mother requested a well-being check, telling police Weffer was mentally ill and off his medications, said Lara Jones, a Salt Lake City police spokeswoman.