Dispatch tapes paint chaotic scene when 6 officers were shot in Ogden

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 31 2012 1:00 p.m. MST

Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty against Stewart if he is convicted. Stewart was just released from the hospital Monday and booked into the Weber County Jail. He was scheduled to make his initial appearance in court on Wednesday.

On the night of Jan. 4, members of the drug strike force were serving a routine knock-and-announce warrant at Stewart's home, 3268 Jackson Ave. Investigators had received information that Stewart had a marijuana growing operation in his basement.

What they didn't know at that time was that Stewart had told a friend that if police ever tried to raid his operation, he'd "go out in a blaze of glory and shoot to kill," according to court records.

The gunman, armed with a Beretta .9mm handgun, was relentless in firing on officers. Stewart continued to shoot officers after they were down, firing on officers as they tried to get their wounded brothers out of the house, and then following the officers even after they had left the house, shooting at them from his front door into the street, according to a police affidavit.

Within a minute of the initial gunfire, the gunman apparently escaped out a window into a backyard shed.

"He's in the shed in the backyard," an incident commander tells the other. "I think I can hear him moaning in there."

"We've got movement. We've got movement in the shed," one officer warns while another can be heard saying, "Sounds like he's racking a gun up in there."

"We can also hear him talking in the shed."

Officers are heard several times on the tapes warning their comrades to stay out of the way of crossfire as they surrounded the shed. The officers also question each other whether anyone else could still be inside the house posing a threat to them.

About 17 minutes into the dispatch tape, an officer says: "We're taking the suspect in custody now."

About 30 seconds later, another officer can be heard saying, "I need to know where Francom is."

One officer also tells a dispatcher, "I need the suspect to go to a different hospital than my officers are at." Davis Hospital & Medical Center in Layton is suggested. But a few minutes later, the dispatcher tells the officer that according to paramedics, "He will not make it to Davis with his injuries."

As the officers still at the house try to account for all the strike force members, one can be heard on the recordings saying that Roy police officer Jason VanderWarf "took a ricochet to the head."

Neighbors and people attending a meeting at an LDS church across the street from Stewart's house reported hearing a barrage of gunfire. Several nearby homes and vehicles were hit multiple times by stray gunfire.

About 33 minutes into the incident, the people inside the church were allowed to leave. A commander also can be heard on the tapes setting up a meeting place for any officer who fired a shot, "so we can try and make sense to detectives what happened."

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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