Father of alleged gunman says estranged son was 'self-medicating'

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  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 9, 2012 3:17 p.m.

    " . . . it is not the media's job to be the jugde [sic] and jury or to report things of this nature. Demanding the affidavit, are you serious?"


    Yes, at some point the public has a absolute right to know how decisions are made to issue warrants that suspend the constitutional right of privacy, particularly when there seemingly were other, less confrontational alternatives. Information that would expose confidential sources might be redacted or delayed temporarily if critical to conviction.

    If you think the public can't know that, then you might as well learn how to spell "Deutschland, Deutschlan Uber Alles" for us.

  • Spell_It_Right Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2012 5:31 p.m.

    First of all, it is not the media's job to be the jugde and jury or to report things of this nature. Demanding the affidavit, are you serious? This is a criminal case, the media has already caused enough speculation to keep this case from going to trial for years...if and when the truth comes out it should be in a court of law, but that will never happen if he takes a plea deal and since he was contacted by a public defender, you can bet this will not go to trial.

  • Broken Arrow Draper, UT
    Jan. 6, 2012 5:27 p.m.

    I've been saying for years that not wearing a seat belt is simply a stepping stone to more serious "criminal" activity. Next time you see someone driving "unbuckled" consider what potentially lies ahead for them.

    This incident underscores the fact that law enforcement needs to get these seat belt offenders (criminals) off the street before they step it up and go on a rampage. If this young man would have been thrown in jail for the first violation none of this would have happened.

    Quite frankly, I'm surprised they only went in with a SWAT team of 6 or 8 men. I mean, if you're going to wake a sleeping pot head in the middle of the night shouldn't you have at least 20 or 30 fully armed officers.

    The silver lining in this gray cloud is that Ogden is now a safer place with that one marijuana plant uprooted and no longer growing in the basement.

  • mohokat Ogden, UT
    Jan. 6, 2012 4:20 p.m.

    So Cal Reader I know the father not real well but have had some business dealings with him and he has always impressed me as a pretty good guy. You are right estranged changes the whole equation as to what influence you might have. Tragic at best. Everyone needs to wait until all the facts are in. Lighten up on the Cops.

  • JohnInSLC Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 6, 2012 4:19 p.m.

    Nebsy and CWEB raise good points.

    If the media will do their jobs, they should sniff out the affidavit supporting the warrant application. The public has a right to know what the police were telling the judge that issued it. Was this a product of sloppy homework? It sure seems from what we know at this point that there were less confrontational alternatives to getting the evidence the police sought, like a no-knock warrant at a time when he was at work.

  • CWEB Orem, UT
    Jan. 6, 2012 3:48 p.m.

    The officers came in guns pulled? They couldn't pick this guy up at Walmart? I don't understand what was so dangerous about this suspect, that required a freaking swat team to go flying in...

    Is there more information? Tell me there is more to this story...there HAS to be more, because if they charged into his home in the middle of the night...sheesh,
    do none of these guys have a brain to go with their guns?

    Did they know he was ex-military? Did they know what he was capable of? Hmmm.

  • Nebsy Ephraim, UT
    Jan. 6, 2012 2:11 p.m.

    I hope that the incident will provoke police units to reconsider their tactics. Is anybody surprised by this? Should it not be a man's intent to eliminate the threat of men breaking down a door and storming into his home? Does big brother presume that we are all conditioned to roll over with our empty hands up and surrender if somebody pounds down the door and storms into our homes yelling in the middle of the night.
    My sympathy to the officers. This was their training and it was flawed in my opinion. Seems evident that the only threat this man exhibited on society was his lack of using a seatbelt. Also seems more prudent that the team could have approached the man under more ideal conditions. Was their an immediate need to go in and get the 'criminal' by risking the lives of law enforcement? Was any information gathered about the 'non-seatbelt wearer' prior to serving the warrant that could have prevented this response. I.E. did they choose to wake the man from a sound sleep and surprise him in the dark
    I await details but suspect that much could have been prevented.

  • So. Cal Reader San Diego, CA
    Jan. 6, 2012 12:11 p.m.

    Very sad situation all around. The father seems to be very genuine. For those of us who are parents, we know there's only so much we can do. This dude is 37 years old, living on his own, and estranged from his family. My word, not much a parent(s) can do with that. I hope for a full recovery from the injured officers, and my prayers go out to the Francom family

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Jan. 6, 2012 12:09 p.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin: I will point you to history. Look at prohibition. Look at the rate of violent crime associated with it. Look what happened when it was repealed. That should be evidence enough.

  • DeltaFoxtrot West Valley, UT
    Jan. 6, 2012 12:06 p.m.

    All for a little weed. How senseless.

    Jan. 6, 2012 11:05 a.m.

    just because alcohol and nicotine are legal doesnt make it right. How many lives have been affected because of alcohol and tobacco use? Too many people have had their worlds shaken because a drunk driver took the live of a loved one. Too many people have watched as a loved one died a slow and painful death as they battled lung cancer which could have been caused by secondhand smoke. No matter how you try to justify it doesnt make it right.

  • Natester Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 6, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    I think it would be safe to say that any rushing to judgement right now, whether it's about the shooter's parent's point of view or whether it be about the shooter and his motives, or even whether this is a case to describe the problem with the "war on drugs"..... would be a huge mistake. There are lots of details in cases like this, most of which are probably unknown. God bless all who have been affected by what happened. Hopefully we will all unite behind those who have lost loved ones.

  • pmccombs Orem, UT
    Jan. 6, 2012 8:39 a.m.

    Brave Sir Robin, I think you have missed the point. What we now have is a double-standard. A substance called "nicotine" is among the most addictive drugs known to man. Another one, called "alcohol," has mind-altering properties and is also potentially addictive. Both of these substances are legally available for consumption.

    What we are experiencing, the thing that this tragedy reflects, is an echo of the same problems that ended prohibition. This is what happens when we regulate the things that can lead to bad behavior instead of simply regulating the bad behavior.

    The way we mistreat our bodies--drugs/medicines, herbs, food, etc.--ought not be subject to regulation. If certain substances contribute to actual crime, that is, infringement of the rights of others, then the legal consequences ought to be informed by that fact and thus rendered more severe.

    Ridiculous laws--this insane "war on drugs"--creates its own bad-guys. We've made a whole new class of criminals and given them a reason to become desperate.

  • Shimlau SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Jan. 6, 2012 8:31 a.m.

    A seat belt violation and driving without insurance 7 years ago is a "limited criminal history"? Then, we must ALL have "limited criminal histories"

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Jan. 6, 2012 8:25 a.m.

    "Police said the alleged gunman has a limited criminal history."

    "A search of Utah court records indicates that Matthew Stewart has had a misdemeanor conviction of driving without insurance in 2005, and a seat belt violation in 2004."

    So, is driving without insurance and/ or a seatbelt give one a criminal history in UT?

    There must be more to the story, from both sides.

    I can understand how someone awakened from a deep sleep, with a loaded gun nearby, might start shooting before realizing who/what he is shooting.

    Perhaps the gunman has other mental illnesses--such as paranoid schizophrenia? It often appears in the early 20's.

    My condolences to all.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Jan. 6, 2012 8:03 a.m.

    Yeah, legalizing weed would set a great precedent. That's saying that good and bad behavior is a function of the popularity of the behavior? So basically you're saying that right and wrong should be decided by how many people are doing the wrong thing? So if we all get together and decide that it would be great to beat up little old ladies, it should be legal because everybody wants to do it? Unbelievable...

  • skydiver09 Clearfield, UT
    Jan. 6, 2012 7:48 a.m.

    This is why they should legalize marijuana, would have saved one officers life and the injury of 5 others as well as the suspect himself. No search warrant would have been needed. This would not have happened in California nor Seattle because personal use is "legal".

  • Gert B Frobe OGDEN, UT
    Jan. 6, 2012 7:29 a.m.

    All this because he was growing some weed?