Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Magna neighborhood shaken by public suicide
Tragedy » Police say the man told his wife earlier in the day that he would kill himself.
First Published Jul 19 2012 03:03 pm • Last Updated Jul 19 2012 11:23 pm

A West Valley City man died Thursday, three days after driving through several backyards in Magna and then shooting himself in front of several residents.

Neil Bawden, 57, was removed from life support Thursday at Pioneer Valley Medical Center.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Residents of the neighborhood were shocked to learn of the man’s death and remained confused about why he drove his black Ford Ranger through three backyards, hitting a trampoline and an awning, destroying a landscaped shallow pond and three fences. Bawden stopped when he crashed into a home’s air conditioning unit.

Unified Police Department Lt. Justin Hoyal said Bawden had made suicidal threats to his wife earlier in the day and then left in his truck.

At about 1:15 p.m. Monday, Bawden was driving west on 3500 South near 7660 West when he left the road.

Gary Anderson and his family were having lunch when he heard a loud noise and saw from a back window that vinyl fences were being ripped up.

"I heard the thunder and saw the big dust ball of vinyl [fencing]," said Anderson, who lives near where Bawden left the road.

Anderson told his wife to call 911 as he hopped a fence to help the man.

Another neighbor also tried to help Bawden, who was still wearing his seat belt and seemed coherent.

Bawden — whose left eye was badly cut in the crash — told Anderson and the other neighbor to stop helping him.

story continues below
story continues below

As Anderson stepped away, he heard the female neighbor shout, "He has got a gun!"

"I turned around and I just kinda froze," said Anderson, who then saw Bawden cock the revolver and shoot himself in the head.

"The whole thing looked like slow motion when that happened," Anderson said, adding that it is a difficult image to erase from his mind. "Everything seemed pretty surreal."

On Thursday, neighbors in the area were helping each other fix their fences and replacing the air conditioning unit.

cimaron@sltrib.com Twitter: @CimCity

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment

About Reader Comments

Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.