WHITE CITY A veteran Salt Lake County SWAT team member could face disciplinary action for leaving an assault rifle in front of a home following a weekend standoff.
The M4 rifle was left in the grass near a sidewalk for about two hours until a jogger came across it and called police early Saturday, said Salt Lake County sheriff's deputy Levi Hughes.
"This is as devastating as it gets," Hughes said. "We will make sure this never happens again. We will work to regain the trust of the community."
SWAT team members were called to a house where a man had fired several shots into the air during a domestic dispute Friday at about 9:30 p.m. After a five-hour standoff, the man was taken into custody.
After an incident, SWAT team members go through a process called "resetting," in which they catalog and repack all of their equipment, Hughes said.
"You put it back in the vehicle the same way so if you're deployed again the next 20 minutes, you know where everything is at," he said.
Officials were unsure how the SWAT team member failed to account for the assault rifle during the resetting process. Hughes said the man, who has not been identified, was a veteran team member of the Salt Lake County team, which is made up of members from the sheriff's office, the Taylorsville Police Department and the Unified Fire Authority. The man had multiple responsibilities and more equipment than average members, police said.
"He removed the M4, placed it on the ground and never picked it back up," Hughes said.
A jogger saw the weapon lying in the grass and called police.
"We take full accountability for this and we have no excuses," Hughes said Sunday.
The sheriff's office will now launch an investigation into the incident.
"We're looking at the process and how it failed," Hughes said. "A change in the way we reset the gear will be seriously looked at."The team member who left the weapon could also face disciplinary action, he said. Hughes could not comment on what action the man might face.
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