MAN KILLS 1, TAKES HOSTAGES AT ALTA VIEW

Published: Saturday, Sept. 21 1991 12:00 a.m. MDT

A man packing firearms and dynamite forced his way into the Women's Center at Alta View Hospital late Friday night, killing one person and taking six people hostage while holding law enforcement officers at bay.

The crisis continued well into early Saturday morning at Alta View Hospital, 9660 S. 1300 East.There were no early reports on how many people were taken hostage. Initial reports had at least one woman, a baby and a nurse being held as hostages.

The man was searching for Dr. Glade Curtis, who had performed surgery on the man's wife two years ago, tying off her Fallopian tubes. Curtis told reporters at the scene that the man had been frustrated and had threatened the docter repeatedly since the time of the surgery.

The shooting began shortly after 11:30 p.m. Friday when the gunman shot his way into the Women's Center, which is adjacent to the hospital. For more than an hour following his entrance into the Women's Center, the gunman repeatedly fired shots inside the building as well as shots out of the building.

At one point, the man ventured outside but retreated back to the building.

The man was said to be carrying a shotgun, a handgun and the explosives.

Shortly after midnight, the doctor reportedly being sought by the gunman was able to escape from the building to the outside through an alleyway. The doctor worked with police and SWAT team members in describing the layout of the building as well as the room in which the man had barricaded himself.

SWAT teams from the state, West Jordan and West Valley City responded and surrounded the Women's Center. Hospital personnel helped people inside the building escape to safety outside while the man remained barricaded inside.

The man reportedly had taken a hostage before barricading himself in a room on the first floor of the west side of the Women's Center. While he remained isolated, the man kicked out the window and fired shots out of the window as well.

At 12:20 a.m. Saturday, the man announced he had 42 sticks of dynamite and gave police 10 minutes to respond. The Metro Bomb Squad was called in to aid police efforts.

The LDS bishop of the suspect also arrived at the scene shortly after 12:30 a.m. to help in negotiations.

Soon after, the man's wife also arrived.

At 12:40 a.m., the man reportedly moved to another room on the second level of the north side of the Women's Center. Patients in other rooms of the Women's Center were contacted by phone and were told to keep their doors locked.

Police were able to make initial contact with nurses in the hospital. The gunman shot the phone in the room where he was barricaded, eliminated direct contact to him.

Police continued to evacuate patients from a nearby walkway. Eventually, the only patients remaining in the Women's Center were either in their own rooms or protected in the building's emergency room.

The man's reported 10-minute deadline passed - apparently without any incident - while police continued to plan their strategy, review maps of the building, talk with hospital personnel familiar with the layout and recruit individuals to help in the negotiations.

Husbands and family members of the women patients inside the Women's Center lined up around the building as the siege continued. Doctors also remained outside, waiting to get back to patients who were in labor during the ordeal.

At approximately 1 a.m., a SWAT team sharpshooter reported having a visual sight on the man, who at that time was in a room on the north side of the building. Shooting started up again as the gunman fired outside.

At 1:10 a.m., a nurse called from the south end of the hospital reporting that 20 to 30 people were waiting to be evacuated, with one person in need of medical attention.

Five minutes later, SWAT teams were on top of the building and going through a breezeway on the ground level near the emergency room and were in the building.

Moments later, a nurse reported being in phone contact with the man, who was in Curtis' office on the third floor at the center of the building. The man reported holding six hostages, including two newborns.

Police were attempting to darken the street lights along 1300 East to help darken the area and aid in the surprise of their response inside the building. Patients continued to exit the Women's Center throughout the siege, exiting with their arms high above their head so to not be fired at by mistake by police.

At one time, the man was at a window, with police officers thinking that he was either going to jump or possibly throw something out. But the man moved backed into a barricaded area and the siege continued on past 1:30 a.m.

Staff writer Karen Owen contributed to this report.

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