88-year-old Millcreek man charged after alleged attempt to kill stepson

John Ma:lin Hardy. Photo Courtesy: Salt Lake County Jail

MILLCREEK, Utah, Jan. 20, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — An 88-year-old Millcreek man has been charged after he allegedly attempted to kill his stepson.

A probable cause statement from the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake County said John Malin Hardy is facing charges of:

  • Attempted murder, a first-degree felony
  • Two counts of assault against a police officer, a second-degree felony
  • Two counts of felony discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony

Hardy was arrested Thursday at 10:30 p.m.

On Jan. 9, the arresting officer received information on a shooting that had just occurred in Sierra Ridge Court in Millcreek. Initial information relayed to dispatch and responding officers was that a 65 year-old-man, later identified as Hardy’s stepson, entered a home and was shot by the homeowner, later identified as Hardy.

Another call to dispatch was received from the patient, who said he had been shot in the arm. The man also provided an address on Sierra Ridge Court. A third call was received from the same address the victim was at on Sierra Ridge Court stating they were with the patient and providing medical aid.

Multiple officers arrived in the area and were advised by dispatch and neighbors the name of the suspect was likely John Malin Hardy, who lived in Sierra Ridge Court with his wife, who is confined to a wheelchair.

As officers were arriving, they were advised the injured party was still inside one residence receiving care and the individual who had shot him was still at the other residence, the statement said. Officers were able to begin containment on the suspect location while additional officers retrieved the injured man from the other.

The victim had a wound to his left bicep area and had it bandaged using blankets, the statement said. He said he remembered approximately five gunshots, one of which struck him. He said he was by the home, toward the garage area, when the suspect started shooting.

It was discovered the suspect and victim are related by marriage, as the victim’s mother is married to the suspect.

“The additional officers holding containment at the suspect residence were able to remove all the occupants except John Malin Hardy, who they advised was still in the basement,” the statement said.

“They were informed John Hardy was suicidal. While on containment at the residence, officers heard two gunshots from the basement of the home. SWAT was contacted and requested to respond and held containment on the premises while a warrant was drafted to enter the home.”

Detectives spoke to neighbors who said the victim and the suspect were involved in a verbal argument over home care involving the victim’s elderly mother.

After a warrant for the residence was approved, SWAT made entry into the home and was able to safely locate and retrieve the suspect from the basement of the residence. Evidence on the scene suggested the suspect had taken numerous amounts of different medications.

The suspect was transported to an area hospital by ground ambulance.

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“Detectives then spoke to the victim at the hospital,” the statement said. “The victim advised he had been visiting with his mother and was preparing to leave from the front of the home when John Malin came around from the side of the garage and began firing at him. The victim believed they were blanks until he saw the flash, so he turned and ran back into the home for safety. The victim advised he ran through the entire home toward the back door with John Malin still chasing after him and firing.”

The victim advised he was running outside to a shed in the backyard while Hardy was still firing at him before he was able to get away.

Once inside the home, four additional shell casings were located in the basement room Hardy had been in. There was visible damage to the support beams. Numerous shell cases were also located inside and outside the home, including the living room, kitchen, and garage. In the garage, numerous keys were found scattered and broken as well as a bullet fragment casing.

On Jan. 10, detectives met with the suspect at the hospital. “We began to speak to the suspect and were able to carry on a normal conversation with him and felt that he was in the appropriate state of mine to be interviewed,” the statement said.

“Prior to beginning the interview, the suspect voluntarily stated that officers did everything correctly and within the law and that he was in the wrong. He also advised he was able to hear officers’ commands the entire time and knew people were attempting to reach him. The suspect also voluntarily stated his plan did not go correctly.”

The suspect stated he was shooting in the cement wall into the basement to not hurt anyone, but to inform law enforcement he was still armed.

“He stated if he had executed his plan currently then he would not be here currently,” the statement said. “I asked the suspect his plan and he advised to kill the victim. He stated he was going to kill the victim and then kill himself because he had been upset with the victim for years and felt that he takes advantage of his mother. The suspect said this plan had been in place for some time. The suspect continued to repeat that he somehow missed his shot and therefore the plan did not go correctly.”

The suspect said after the plan went incorrectly, he decided to continue to go through with killing himself but was anxious and therefore took medication in an attempt to commit suicide, the statement said.

On Jan. 16, Hardy was transported to a psychiatric unit. A search warrant was drafted and Hardy was taken into custody without incident. Hardy was booked in the Salt Lake County Jail in the Mental Health Division, where he is being held without bail.

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