Man killed at TRAX station was carrying a bomb, police say

Published: Friday, Sept. 28 2012 8:14 p.m. MDT

Police shot a man who threatened to have a bomb at the Gallivan Plaza TRAX station Thursday night.

Stephanie Grimes

SALT LAKE CITY — A man shot and killed at the Gallivan Plaza TRAX station Thursday night was carrying an explosive device, police confirmed Friday.

Anthony Mayhew, 39, of West Jordan, was shot by police after claiming to have a bomb in a red backpack he was carrying. Police determined Friday that Mayhew was telling the truth.

"It was a bomb," Salt Lake City police detective Dennis McGowan said. "It was some type of explosive device."

The strength or "explosive capacity" of the device had not been determined Friday, McGowan said.

Police say Mayhew began making threats on the TRAX station near 250 S. Main around 9 p.m. Thursday.

"He was loud (and) got people's attention," McGowan said. "He threatened that he had a bomb on his person, and he threatened to detonate it."

Police arrived and attempted to communicate with Mayhew and calm him down, McGowan said. After nearly two hours of negotiation, Mayhew began approaching officers, despite their warnings.

"(Officers) issued repeated commands for him to stop," McGowan said. "He was agitated, and he said he had a bomb. It appeared as though he had a trigger device in his hand, with wires leading to a backpack. All indications were that he was quite dangerous."

Mayhew was shot once by an officer and died shortly afterward. He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital but likely died in transit, McGowan said.

"His motives are not clear at this point, and what his mindset was is not clear," the detective said. "We're still trying to piece it all together."

The shooting officer, who was not identified, was placed on administrative leave, which is standard protocol in an officer-involved shooting investigation.

Court history

Court records indicate Mayhew had a history of civil and criminal complaints filed against him. Since 1995, Mayhew had been charged in several incidents for assault, burglary, kidnapping and hate crimes, but all charges were dismissed in court.

In 2003, Brenda Monik requested and was granted a protective order against Mayhew, alleging co-habitant abuse. That order was dismissed Tuesday — at Mayhew's request, Monik said.

That hearing in 3rd District Court was the first time Monik had seen or talked to Mayhew — the father of her 11-year-old daughter — in roughly 10 years, she said. 

"We had gone (to court) to have a protective order dropped," Monik said during an interview outside her Salt Lake City apartment Friday. "He had complied (with the order). He kind of wanted to work on getting his life together."

Court records show that there had been no violation of the protective order since 2005.

Monik said Mayhew wanted the order dismissed because "for him, it was something that kept him from moving on."

As they left the courthouse Tuesday, Monik said Mayhew apologized for problems the two had during their four-year relationship.

"He caught me on the way out and just apologized for everything, the past, and said he was really sorry," she said. "He really seemed like he was doing well, that maybe things were going in the right direction for him."

Monik said she was shocked when she learned of Mayhew's death and circumstances surrounding it.

"I didn't find out until (Friday) morning," she said. "I was just shocked. I wasn't expecting that. … I never, ever him took for someone who would try to harm himself. I didn't see that."

Monik said she met with a school counselor Friday to tell her daughter about Mayhew's death.

Life in West Jordan

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