EAGLE MOUNTAIN — An officer killed a man with a single shot Sunday night as he was holding his 17-year-old niece hostage, according to police.
Police were called to a home on Summit Way shortly after 8:30 p.m. when the 23-year-old man's wife reported he was threatening suicide and had the girl at knifepoint, Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon said in a statement.
The woman and two small children were outside when police arrived, but the teen was still inside the home with her uncle, Cannon said.
Officers made contact with the man and began a conversation, but the man "disengaged from deputies several times," Cannon said. When the man told police "he would kill the hostage in 60 seconds," officers moved into the home where they found the man holding the girl and threatening her with a large kitchen knife.
"When the threat to the victim's life became immediate a deputy fired one shot at the suspect, killing him," Cannon said.
Police did not release the man's name Monday.
"I believe he's had some minor involvements with law enforcement, but nothing that would lead us to believe that this would be an action that he would take," Cannon said.Comment on this story
Under standard department protocol, the officer who shot the man was placed on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated by the Utah County Attorney's Office.
Cannon said the girl did not sustain any serious physical injuries but was being evaluated for emotional trauma from the episode. The teen had been staying in the home with the man and his wife, he said.
Police have "a pretty clear picture" of what happened, Cannon said, but are continuing to investigate.