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SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah, June 17, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — An elderly woman is dead and her husband critically injured after being taken hostage Sunday inside their South Salt Lake City home.
The hostage-taker — described only as a man in his 20s to 30s — is also dead, after being shot by police.
Officers were sent to the home at 451 E. Stanley Avenue (3100 South) just before 10:35 a.m., when family members called police saying an unknown man had answered the phone at their grandparents’ residence.
As officers arrived at the couples’ home, so too did family members. They were met by a stranger who told them he was holding their grandparents hostage.
South Salt Lake City Police Chief Jack Carruth said officers tried to negotiate with the man but were rebuffed “after the exchange of a few choice words.”
Carruth said the hostage-taker then “made it very clear his intent was to harm or to kill the individuals inside the residence.”
Unified SWAT officers were called in and took up positions outside the home, before deploying an immediate action team.
Carruth said the three-man unit “engaged that suspect … shots were fired … and that individual was killed on scene.”
Police also found the elderly couple.
The wife had been killed and the husband critically injured. He was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Carruth confirmed that at least one weapon belonging to the suspect was found at the scene. Carruth said the weapon was fired prior to the SWAT team’s arrival.
The Officer-Involved Critical Incident Protocol has been invoked with the West Valley Police Department taking over the investigation.
Carruth said it was unclear how many officers in the three-man unit opened fire on the suspect.
The immediate action team consisted of one officer from South Salt Lake Police Department and two from Unified Police.
Police said the elderly couples’ family does not know or recognize the suspect, but investigators will continue to pursue potential leads, including comments made by the hostage-taker.
Gephardt Daily has a crew on the scene and will update this developing story as information is made available.