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Neighbors of shot gunman at Mormon temple say he was friendly

Published: Monday, Dec. 27 2010 11:45 a.m. MST

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah — Neighbors of the man shot and killed by police Christmas Day in front of the LDS Church's Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple say they were shocked when they found out who it was.

The man's name had not been officially released by South Jordan Police as of Sunday night pending notification of family members.

Residents in the man's South Jordan neighborhood said they became aware of who the gunman was, however, when police and haz-mat crews showed up at his basement apartment Saturday evening and stayed for most of the night.

Police were called to the temple, 11022 S. 4000 West, about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, where they found a middle-aged caucasian man holding a shotgun. Police ordered the man to drop the weapon. He instead took off running and was shot and killed by police.

Inside the man's car nearby, investigators found additional guns, swords and ammunition.

Neighbors, who wanted to remain anonymous, said that about 90 minutes prior to the shooting, they saw the man in front of his driveway and he appeared to be distraught or agitated. Some thought he may have locked something in his car, like his keys, as he appeared to be staring at his vehicle and talking to himself.

Normally, they said the man was very nice. He even gave presents to his landlord's children this year. Neighbors described the man as quiet and friendly. His landord called him the "ideal tenant" who always paid his rent on time.

Haz-mat crews reportedly found some kind of substance in the bath tub, according to neighbors, which they later determined was only drain cleaner. It was unknown Sunday night if police found anything of evidentiary value.

e-mail: preavy@desnews.com

 

 

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