Comments about ‘Neighbors of shot gunman at Mormon temple say he was friendly’

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Published: Sunday, Dec. 26 2010 10:18 p.m. MST

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patriotandmore
Spanish Fork, UT

"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.

Tom Smith
Sandy, UT

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.

sniggy
Payson, UT

I'm with Tom Smith on this one.

Shoot and then figure it out later seems to be the norm here in Utah.

Utes21
Salt Lake City, ut

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.

wazzup
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

Resident
Spanish Fork, UT

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 bad actions.

Utes21
Salt Lake City, ut

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.

sniggy
Payson, UT

Warning shots don't kill. Growing up is on both sides of the situation. Tazers work to take down an individual.?

SyracuseCoug
Syracuse, ut

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 work.

Anne26
West Jordan, UT

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.

DN Subscriber
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

SyracuseCoug
Syracuse, ut

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.

1Observer
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

MapleDon
Springville, UT

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?

JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt
Beverly Hills, CA

-----Tom Smith | 7:47 a.m. Dec. 27, 2010
Sandy, UT
This 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 threat.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

ValiantDefender
Herriman, UT

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.

JohnJacobJingleHeimerSchmidt
Beverly Hills, CA

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.

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