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Wife: Man shot by West Valley City cops "didn't have the guts" to kill himself

Published May 23, 2013 7:49 am

James Kammeyer was wounded when he allegedly pulled a gun in police station.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The wife of a man who allegedly prompted a shooting inside the West Valley City Police Department lobby in April told detectives her husband went to the police department with an unloaded handgun because he wanted "someone to kill him because he didn't have the guts to do it himself."

James Kammeyer, who was wounded but not killed, has been charged with threat of terrorism, three counts of aggravated assault and one count of possession of a firearm by a restricted person, all third-degree felonies.

Kammeyer's wife of eight years told police he has become increasingly unstable, according to search warrants made public Wednesday in 3rd District Court.

She said that Kammeyer, who works for the state's Department of Technology Services, had twice before made unsuccessful attempts to kill himself, most recently in December, by slitting his wrists, the search warrant shows.

The couple's roommate told detectives that he heard Kammeyer rode away from the home on his motorcycle about 8 a.m. on April 29. Kammeyer allegedly left a note on the roommate's door apologizing for the couple's domestic dispute the night before and told the roommate he could stay as long as he wanted at the West Jordan residence.

He also texted his wife demanding to see the couple's child. She told him, she wouldn't prevent him from seeing the child, but he needed to leave her alone, the search warrant shows.

About 20 minutes later, West Valley City police said Kammeyer showed up at the department, at 3575 S. Market St. (2790 West), and demanded that an officer come out to speak with him. When an officer appeared from behind the bulletproof glass partition, police said Kammeyer pulled out a semi-automatic pistol and pointed it at the officer and civilian clerk working behind the glass.

The officer fled back behind the glass and called for backup.

Sgt. Jeffrey Conger was working on the second floor and responded to the call for help. Conger fired more than one shot at Kammeyer, hitting him twice in the arm, according to the search warrants, which were obtained to get a blood sample and DNA swab from Kammeyer and to search his home.

The roommate told police a 9 mm pistol inside the home's garage was missing following the shooting.

jstecklein@sltrib.com

Twitter: @sltribjanelle