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Police say man who fired shots at SWAT team also wound up hitting neighboring houses

Standoff took place after police responded to a report of domestic violence; suspect arrested for assaulting both of his parents.

(Sara Tabin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Unified Police were on scene in Taylorsville near the 5000 block of S. Queenswood, where a person was reportedly firing a weapon at officers Saturday, April 17, 2021.

A lengthy standoff near S. Queenswood Drive and Baringwood Circle in Taylorsville came to an end just before 10 p.m. Saturday night when police took into custody a man who had barricaded himself in a house and was firing shots at officers.

A large area had been blocked off with yellow tape and was swarming with police, with gunfire intermittently piercing the night and the wind blowing tear gas down the street.

The man was barricaded, according to police, after what they called a domestic violence incident between an adult male and his parents.

Unified Police Sgt. Melody Cutler said the father had been taken to a hospital. She said the call came in at 4:14 p.m. Saturday. Police posted on Twitter around 7 p.m. that the subject had fired at SWAT officers.

Cutler said he was taken into custody shortly before 10 p.m. She said he did not surrender willingly but was not injured when he was arrested.

“Our SWAT team is good at their job,” she said.

The arrest report said that both of the suspect’s parents had visible black eyes, but were able to leave the house just before police arrived to investigate. It also clarified that the suspect’s father had called the police.

Police attempted to get the suspect to leave his house and surrender, but he refused.

Residents living nearby said they heard the police telling the suspect to come out with his hands up before the gunfire began.

Spencer Kauer, who was watching the scene from outside the yellow police tape, said police talked to the subject for a long time before he heard shots. He described them as “a pop here and a pop there” rather than rapid gunfire.

Kauer’s interview with The Salt Lake Tribune was cut short when the air began to smell bad and the noses of both the reporter and Kauer began to burn. A police officer getting equipment from a truck confirmed police had used tear gas.

More gunfire began around 8:30 p.m.

The arrest report states that the suspect fired shots at multiple officers, and that when the SWAT team’s armored vehicle (known as a “Bearcat”) pulled into the driveway of the house, the suspect “shot at them, hitting the Bearcat multiple times.” The officer who wrote the report noted that, “After inspecting the vehicle, I saw that multiple shots into the vehicle were in the front windshield aimed directly at the driver of the vehicle. The bullet proof glass prevented the SWAT members from getting hit by the array of bullets.”

Several neighboring homes were hit by the suspect’s gunfire as well, per the report.

Neighbor Ryan Lewis left his home Saturday evening because of the loud noises. He decided to wait the standoff out at a friend’s house nearby. Lewis returned around 8:30 p.m. to get his dog. He explained to police that the dog is diabetic and can’t miss a meal. Police escorted him in to get the dog and its food. Lewis said the police were very cordial and “did great” for him as he and his dog left the scene.

Per the report, after the suspect — who has a history of arrests for domestic violence, abuse of the elderly, and aggravated assaults — was taken into custody and read his Miranda rights, he “admitted to shooting at the Police because he said that he was not having it.”

Tribune reporter Eric Walden contributed to this report.

(Sara Tabin | The Salt Lake Tribune) Unified Police were on scene in Taylorsville near the 5000 block of S. Queenswood, where a person was reportedly firing a weapon at officers Saturday, April 17, 2021.

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