Unfortunately when you bring a gun to the dance, you had better be ready to use
it. That is why anytime you bring a gun into a situation, you have to expect
that the other side will use the same in kind. It is why a friend of mine who
is in law enforcement discourages home owners from quickly stepping up to
pulling a gun, even if they are right, into a situation. It has to be a well
thought out decision to escalate to the deadly force.Unfortunately
it looks like this chap was not in his right mind, and took that step, bringing
guns and deadly force into this situation. He forced the situation where the
office had to decide if he or she is willing to risk being able to return back
to their family that night, or try to bring the situation to an end. If the
situation was containable, sure they can wait the other person out and hopefully
calmer heads prevail. But once you bring a gun into the situation, you have to
expect that this outcome is at least probably or likely.A real shame
for all involved.
No, Opinionated, this does not have "lawsuit written all over it".
The police have every right to protect citizens from gunmen running around on
private property with shotguns.It's too bad someone didn't shoot the
Trolley Square gunman before he had the chance to kill and injure innocent
people.If you're running around with a gun on private property and
the police issue a command for you to drop your weapon the responsibility for
your decision to obey or disobey rests on solely on your shoulders.
This is a sad story. The man probably had a psychotic break and wasn't in his
right mind. Running around talking about a bird attack makes me think he was
definitely expeiriencing some psychosis. Unfortunately we'll never know if he
wanted to hurt people or if he was just really convinced and frightened of a
bird attack and was taking steps to prevent it. I think the police did what
they had to do, but there should be no joy in this outcome for anyone.
Why can't the police use rubber bullets in such cases?
I attended a Temple open day there, and remember the surrounding high density
cluster residential area, certainly high risk and the officer would be in no
doubt of the danger presented. Sad, but a split second decision and judgement
had to be made.
So sad this had to happen. I think most police would not shoot unless they felt
danger. It is a decision that is made in a split second on both parties. With
the party making the decision not to follow the order it didn't give the police
There's a new article out with more details, obviously this man was very
dangerous and YES, witnesses have stated that they were in fear of their safety
as he was pointing his weapon at them.
People like Tom Smith who are first in line to criticize peace officers are also
typically the first to call for their help when the smelly stuff hits the fan.
When a gunman refuses to obey a lawful command issued by a peace officer to drop
a weapon the responsibility for what follows rests on his head only.And no, there is not one single peace officer on the face of this earth that
would even think of using a taser against on a man hold a shotgun. People who
suggest that a taser is an appropriate response are living in some kind of
clouded fantasy land.
@fitz What do you suggest my friend? I mean your quick to point out what
you think is wrong about what happened but offer no suggestions? What do you
consider a threat is my question to you? I mean a guy with a loaded shotgun
refusing to drop his weapon running from police in the direction of innocent
bystanders isnt committing crimes until he kills a couple people right? But
whatever lets blame the cop for not using a taser against a pump action shot gun
or maybe thats to much for you he should of got real close and got him in the
eyes with some mace.
I think the police were in the right to shoot, when you don't lay down a deadly
weapon and then run, who is really going to chase him to find out?
Somebody above said the police should have tasered him.Really? A
taser against a shotgun????No offense, but do you still believe in
the tooth fairy?
This has lawsuit written all over it. The man was running AWAY for
heaven's sake, as in shot from behind. Police officers chase people every
day that may hurt themselves or the officer. This is not a new experience for
officers. The man had plenty of opportunity to do harm yet he hadn't.
Police DON'T fire warning shots. This is not SOP.
Fitz said "So what terrible crime did this man commit? He carried a loaded
firearm on private property which is called trespssing and failed to obey an
officer's command. So tresspassing and fleeing deserve being shot and killed? A
pretty harsh penalty for two misdemeanors."Again the article
doesn't release everything that took place. We do know he was in an altercation
with another individual. We know people felt threaten enough to call 911 (why
would they call 911 if they didn't feel threaten?), his neighbors report that he
was talking to himself staring at his car, we know he refused to follow police
instruction in laying down his weapon or stop moving around, we know he was
shot.Remember when people speculated that Ed Smart kidnapped his own
daughter? They were dead wrong on that. Give it some time before you accuse the
officer. What happened to innoncent until proven guilty? Wait for the evidence
to come out.My guess (again I'm not an expert) it's the holidays,
the guy is religious, he used suicide by cop. Suicide goes up around holidays. I
could be wrong just a guess.
As MapleDon said, and I agree:1) Cops are held to the exact same
standard as non-police. They are citizens, too. They don't have the right to
shoot anyone, armed or not, unless they deem a direct threat to themselves.
Nowhere does the article talk about the man threatening anyone. In fact, short
of "disturbing the peace"-the general catch-all for anything the cops
don't like, what he was doing was legal.2) Shooting an armed man
who IS RUNNING AWAY and has not directly threatened you or anyone else is, at
best, manslaughter.3) I guarantee that if I or YOU had done the
same, we'd be in lockup facing manslaughter or murder charges.4) I
also guarantee you that that D.A.'s office will give this officer a clean bill
STOP CRITICIZING THE COP!!!Here's a simple formula for you in case your
too dumb to get this story.You carry shotgun around in public + you
run from a cop when ordered to put down your shotgun = you. will. be. shot. end
all the man had to do was throw down the shotgun and THEN run.
The conclusions put forth in these comment sections never ceases to amaze me.
The news story has very little detail or fact in it and yet the victim here is
catagorized as less than "normal sanity". A "confrontation"
with another guest is referenced with no details as to whether or not it is
real. The police are still investigating, and the DA will probably clear the
cop. But we have no facts as to why the victim did what he did and probably
never will. It is not illegal in Utah to carry a pistol, rifle or shotgun in
public (we do not even know yet if it was loaded). Nor is it illegal to carry
loaded fire arms or swords in your vehicle. So what terrible crime did this man
commit? He carried a loaded firearm on private property which is called
trespssing and failed to obey an officer's command. So tresspassing and fleeing
deserve being shot and killed? A pretty harsh penalty for two misdemeanors.
@MapleDonYou criticize others for being supportive of police and
imply that they would support a police state.Your willingness to
jump to the conclusion that the police were in the wrong with little information
to go on says something about you as well. Shall we conclude that you are
really a criminal because of your deep distrust of police?That makes
about as much sense as your implication that those who are supportive of the
police in this case wouldn't object to a police state. Big jump there.
MapleDon: "several facts presented concern me"The
newspaper story really doesn't present facts. It doesn't tell us enough to draw
the conclusion you made that the man didn't point the weapon at anyone or that
he didn't threaten anyone.From the pictures you can tell that the
man was on the sidewalk between the police and the fence around the temple. He
could only run east toward the front of the temple where people were looking at
the temple and the view or west toward the back of the temple. We do not know
which way he ran from this story. We do not have enough information to conclude
that he was not a threat to anyone.I think that those who were
actually there are in a better position to determine the threat that this man
posed to others than those of us who are only reading a newspaper report that is
very lacking in details.
One does NOT use a Taser to end a threat of deadly weapons/force. There is NOT a
police agency anywhere in the United States that would be that stupid or
foolish. Nor is it policy in any agency nationally on the Federal, State or
local levels.From the many comments here and elsewhere, it sees that the
posters would foolishly prefer the gunman to have opened fire on temple grounds,
wound or murder many innocents, before the police "shot him down".
This kind of rhetoric usually reflects a "past" on the negative side
with law enforcement, usually from being a "frequent flier" or
"well known" to law enforcement for one's own lack of character and
integrity. Not defending the SJPD at all, let's let the FACTS come out before we
verbally flatulate hysterical effluvium.
I agree with liberal ted the only logical answer would be the guy was wanting to
end his life. Again police gave him fair warning you dont run from police very
common sense. Police are trained to shoot at the chest area he was a threat for
not standing down. No police officer would ever dream of killing another human
being unless they were forced to do so. I feel bad for the officer along with
the gunmens family but trying to call out the police on this when they were
doing there job is pathetic. Like was said before its easy to tell someone how
to do their job from the sideline or from the comfort of being behind a computer
I am grateful that the headline is "Police Shoot Gunman at Temple"
instead of "12 Killed, 6 wounded in Christmas Day Massacre by Gunman
at Temple"Can someone give me ONE good reason or
"innocent" reason to show up at an LDS Temple with a shotgun? He
certainly wasn't there to paint Easter eggs or bake pastries.
Funny how people criticize the cops for taking down an armed, confrontational
person walking around mid-day on private property.I doubt those
people would have volunteered to lay this individual down on the couch to
psycho-analyze his intentions, fears and what went wrong in his childhood.Thanks to the cops for averting a disaster. They are public heroes and
I wish the officer well during his administrative leave. Hope to see him back
in uniform with Kuddos from a grateful citizenry.
Is there ever a justification or good intention for a person running away from
the police, defying their instructions, while carrying a weapon designed to
People need to stop with the Taser talk, tasers are not 100% reliable in
neutralizing a gunman. If the gunman wanted to live, he would have dropped the
gun. Tasers are not accurate nor can they shoot as far.If I have to
choose between a dead gunman threatening civilians or a cop going home to his
family on Christmas, I am choosing the cop.Stop blaming the cops,
the gunman made his decision to menacingly go threaten public safety with a gun.
If he had chosen to stay home and watch football he would still be alive.You don't show up at a site of one of the holiest site of worship for
the LDS Church with a shotgun to make friends and influence people.
It is sad, first and foremost, that someone died. However, there was only one
alternative that could have ended better...that he had surrendered.If the police had tazed the individual holding a firearm, it would cause all
this muscles to spasm...now think about the fact that he is holding a weapon.
I'll wait patiently to let that sink in.If he had been tazed and the
victim's gun had gone off - and no one got hurt - the officer would STILL come
under scrutiny for causing (via tazing) of the weapon. Heaven forbid that the
accidental discharge killed someone.
It's only a guess and speculation, but, that's the way it's looking to my
unexpert opinion and based on little evidence. True he could have shot the first
guy that confronted him but didn't, he could have attacked several people
walking around, but didn't. He could have shot at the officers, but, from the
reading he didn't. So based on that, he probably was somewhat religious and
wanted to die on temple grounds with someone else doing the shooting.I feel bad for everyone involved. Especially the officer. No police officer
wants to be put in that situation.
I volunteer Sniggy to walk up to the next gunman and use a tazer on him/her.
Let's see what happens. Obviously it's the one answer solution to
everything.Let's not blame the guy who was carrying a shot gun,
running from police, and refusing to lay down his weapon. It's not like he was
at the shooting range or in the mountains hunting.Next time the
police should evacuate the people, invite Sniggy on down and let him tazer the
next guy. Because he insists it's that easy.My guess is, the guy
wanted to commit suicide. And couldn't get himself to do it, and figured if he
carried the gun around then he could force an officer to do it for him.
-----Tom Smith | 7:47 a.m. Dec. 27, 2010 Sandy, UTThis is very
obviously another case where cops are simply too eager to be like their
television peers. ------What? What do you want Tom, to let this
gunman shoot a few people before the police are justified to protect the
public?Have you been to the Temple Tom? It is surrounded by a
residential neighborhood. Do those residents deserve to be shot or held
hostage? Do children play in their front yards deserve to be shot, Tom? How
about YOU stop watching TV and realize real people running around with guns
shoot innocent people at random.The man a a threat to lives and
while unfortunate, the police protected unarmed innocents by neutralizing the
Several facts presented concern me, along with some of the comments praising
police action.First, the man never pointed the weapon at anyone and,
from the evidence so far presented, didn't actually threaten anyone either.Second, the police shot the man as he was running away. He was not
threatening the police or any other person (or even himself) at the time they
killed him.It was only after they killed him that they found
additional weapons in the dead man's car. The fact that he had a sword and other
guns didn't play into the police decision to kill him. Even so, the last time I
checked, the possession of a sword or gun is not a criminal offense in this
state, let alone making an individual worthy of being shot by police.Finally, it seems some of you are quite anxious to support the police any time
they kill someone--as if they can do no wrong. I'm afraid some of you wouldn't
object to a police state?
I am dumbfounded by the commenters who believe the police erred or were trigger
happy in this situation. First of all, all you know is what the media is
reporting. Who knows how accurate that is since they weren't there. Secondly,
you weren't there either and could not assess the threat or the gunman's state
of mind. Irrational or psychotic individuals very often become increasingly
violent in such situations as their plight begins to seem more hopeless to them.
The mere fact that this person did not surrender his weapon when ordered would
indicate he was just working himself up and over the threshold to pull the
trigger. You negate threat by using an equal or escalated amount of threat.
Tasers would be out of the question since they do not always immediately
incapacitate. The best persons to assess the threat and to neutralize it were
the police officers on the scene. They very likely saved many innocent lives.
They should be hailed as heroes.
Re: Sniggy "Tazers work to take down an individual.?"Uh, yes, but they are used for a less-than-lethal option, meaning a guy
tries to fight an officer or resists arrest. A deranged man carrying around a
shotgun is considered deadly force and the officers have a right to protect
their own lives and the safety of the public by matching deadly force with
deadly force. Besides, tazers aren't guranteed to always work, a prong could
come out, thick clothing, or you could simply miss. If you want to walk up to
about 10-15 ft from a guy carrying a shotgun, just so you can try and use your
tazer is inviting a closed casket funeral for yourself. Put yourself in the
officer's shoes.I'm sorry that this man life took him down this
road, it's sad, but it's no excuse to wave around a shotgun in public pointing
it at people. I'm just thankful that this didn't turn out worse, it could have
been a nightmare.
Perhaps Tom & Sniggy would like to volunteer and approach people that are
agitated and carrying firearms.Obviously the guy was a threat. He
refused to follow orders from a police officer to lay down his weapon. I guess
(using the logic of Tom & Sniggy) the police should wait until the man has
slaughtered a few people before they react to it. Then Tom & Sniggy would be
upset that the police didn't do anything.Easy to tell other people
how to do their job from the sidelines.
Sure sounds like "suicide by cop" to me.However, we will
have to wait and see what the investigation turns up, although the intentions of
the dead man may never be known.
Those criticizing the police completely baffle me. I would think that after
tragedies like the one we had at Trolley Square a few years ago, that we would
all be grateful only the gunman was killed in this situation. The police
simply did what they had to do.
Good job to this officer and for those who are being critical, would you prefer
the alternative? In other words, dead bodies of families and/or children? What
if the police did nothing after the guy ran off and he ended up killing someone?
You're right, the police should wait for him to kill some poor family before
they act....give me a break. These killing sprees need to come to
an end, I am so sick of reading about how someone walks into a public area and
starts firing. The police have a job to PROTECT the public and their own lives,
better a deranged gunman carrying a shotgun on Temple grounds die than a family
or an officer. A car full of ammo and other weapons isn't a cry for help, this
guy obviously had intentions of harming others, but he probably couldn't follow
through with it.....thank goodness. Good job South Jordan PD, keep up the good
Warning shots don't kill. Growing up is on both sides of the situation. Tazers
work to take down an individual.?
We dont know what his intetions were..? What do you think he wanted to do show
everyone his his brand new shotgun he got for christmas? Look comment boards you
are free to state your opinion but when it comes to a crazy mad gunmen walking
around your neighborhood better pray that the police respond quickly and act
quickly. What would have happened if police would have been tipped off sooner
about the idiot kid who rampaged through Trolley Square. Many lives would have
been saved instead of family lives being devastated by one teen who was mad at
the world. Our local police do there best to protect the public, this man was
given fair warning to drop his gun and surrender but he chose to risk his life
and and run from officers. Its sad that one bullet ended his life but how many
bullets could he have shot and ended many innocent lives.
I'm glad they did what they did. The man who ran was the stupid one in this
case. All he had to do was obey the police. To consider an officer trigger happy
for shooting a warning shot is crazy. Would you rather they just chase after him
and risk being shot and killed like the officer in Southern Utah earlier this
year? Would you prefer they just let him run where families (kids) were enjoying
the day? Some people need to grow up and quit blaming officers for a criminals
The one question in my mind is that if the gunman really wanted to hurt someone,
he would have shot the guy he had an altercation with. It appears he was not in
control of his faculties but didn't intent to hurt anyone considering he didn't
shoot the one person he did contact.
Kind of hard when a guy is carrying around a shotgun in a public place, around
people, was given a warning to put down his weapon, and took off running from
police officers for them to not take action. I feel bad for the mans family and
for the officers but their job is to protect others from a man who should have
obeyed there command. I am sure the officer was not wanting to kill anyone just
wound him. It was only one shot he was not trigger happy my friend.
I'm with Tom Smith on this one. Shoot and then figure it out later
seems to be the norm here in Utah.
This is very obviously another case where cops are simply too eager to be like
their television peers. Utah Cops are much too trigger happy. They have nearly
averaged one killing a week this year.
"After the shooting, officers inspected the mans vehicle and found guns,
swords and ammunition." This man was carrying a gun around private
property (The Temple was closed) and his van contained additional firearms and
ammo. Too bad he didn't put the gun down and raise his hands as ordered. Good
thing he didn't prove his intentions were to hurt or kill anyone. Nobody in
their right mind is going to parade around private property that is out of
operation at 12:30 PM with a firearm. Cops 1, bad guy 0. Good work.