OGDEN, Utah, May 29, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Ogden City Police Department has identified the officer killed Thursday when a domestic abuse suspect fired through the front door of his residence.
He was Officer Nate Lyday.
Ogden City Police Chief Steve “Randy” Watt spoke to family, supporters and journalists late Friday morning, standing in front of a wall of gently waving flags and Lyday’s patrol car, decorated in his honor. They were positioned in front of the OCPD offices, in the Francom Public Safety Building.
“We are here to pay tribute to Officer Nate Lyday, 24 years of age and with 15 months of service, felled by the forces of evil at approximately 1227 hours on the 28th of May 2020,” Watt said.
“A warrior, a guardian, a public servant, Officer Lyday sacrificed his life on behalf of the threatened and fearful family on the scene, the citizens of Ogden and the immediate area, the greater Ogden community, and the fellow law enforcement officers who were with him.”
Watts’ voice broke several times with emotion. He looked down, his hat obscuring his face, leaving only his mouth visible as he paused, clenched his lips, took a deep breath and continued.
“Officer Lyday was a son of Ogden, born at McKay-Dee Hospital. He attended Taylor Elementary, Mound Fort Junior High, and Ogden High School. He worked at the Fresh Market at 20th Street and Harrison Boulevard as a young man. He graduated summa cum laude from Weber State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
“He was a second-generation law enforcement officer, his father having been a law enforcement officer in Davis County. His brother Cody currently works for Ogden City in code enforcement. Nate and his wife were about to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary and her graduation from Weber State University.”
Watt spoke about the symbolism designed into an officer’s uniform.
“Of particular note is the shield on the left side, symbolizing the shields carried on the left in the phalanx as guardians in times past protected their cities and their nations from those who would bring them harm,” Watt said.
“Officer Lyday exemplified the nature of the true guardian. General George S. Patton Jr. once said, ‘It is foolish and wrong to mourn the man who died; rather we should thank God that such men lived.’ We are grateful for Officer Lyday for his service, his friendship and his example. We will mourn for a short period, but, more importantly, we will celebrate that he lived, and we will thank the god that we worship that he was one of us.
“We invite and welcome any and all persons who feel so compelled to come here (to the Francom Building) to visit and pay tribute to our fallen brother, Officer Nate Lyday. May God bless the Lyday family, the Ogden Police Department and the United States of America.”
Watts voice softened with emotion.
“Thank you,” he said, before heading back into the Francom Public Safety building with Lyday’s family members.
The fatal shootings of Lyday and the suspect happened Thursday after officers responded to the area of 365 Jackson Ave. at about 12:15 p.m. A female caller had said her husband was threatening to kill her.
“The call was disconnected without further information, and attempts to reconnect were unsuccessful,” Watt said at a Thursday afternoon news conference.
“When officers arrived on the scene, they were confronted by a male in the area of the front porch. He was uncooperative and suddenly retreated into the home, slamming the door behind him. As officers moved quickly to the door to attempt to follow the suspect, he began firing through the door.
“The Ogden officer who was struck by a fatal round was dragged from the scene by other officers.”
The officer was taken to McKay-Dee Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Watt said. An adult probation officer at the scene was also struck by gunfire. He was treated at the hospital and is recovering from non-life-threatening wounds, Watt added.
At the time the fallen officer was being dragged from the scene, other officers returned fire, Watt said. SWAT team members entered the house, determined the suspected shooter — now identified as 54-year-old John Benedict Coleman — was dead, and retrieved children from the house.
“Our hearts are broken,” Watt said at this Thursday news conference. “We’ve lost one of our own.”
The Francom Public Safety Building was named for late Officer Jared Francom, who was shot to death in 2012 while serving a warrant for the Ogden City Police Department.
Gephardt Daily will have more information as it is released.