Three bodies found after Millcreek SWAT operation ends

Unified Police and SWAT on scene where a suspect is barricaded in a home in Millcreek on Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. Photo: Gephardt Daily

MILLCREEK, Utah, Sept. 4, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A SWAT operation that began Friday night in Millcreek has ended about 20 hours later with the discovery of three bodies in the residence.

Salt Lake County Sheriff and Unified Police Chief Rosie Rivera told reporters at the scene Saturday afternoon that the bodies were those of a man and a woman of about 50, and a man of about 30, who is believed to be the shooter, but whose identity has not yet been formally confirmed.

An elderly woman was rescued from the house Friday night by police officers dodging bullets.

Rivera said police fired no bullets during the SWAT operation, knowing that “time is on our side.” It is unknown at what time the last bullets were fired inside the house.

Unified Police were first alerted to the incident when a man ran from the house to the UPD substation, which was nearby. Police were then able to rescue the elderly woman.

Possible motive

“Our understanding is the family was here to do some type of intervention for drug addiction and mental health issues going on, and something went bad,” Rivera said. “Now we’ll know more when the detectives talk to other family members, but when we have to respond, and it’s involving somebody that has mental health issues, they’re in a crisis. They’re armed, it becomes very difficult for us.”

Rivera said public safety is top priority, and she thanked neighbors for their cooperation with safety measures, such as sheltering in place when asked.

Seventy officers were on the operation at one point, but the agency also needed to reserve officers to handle incidents in other areas. Rivera thanked other agencies for their assistance, including the Salt Lake City Police SWAT team, which provided officers overnight so UPD officers could sleep. UPD offices returned this morning.

Initial reaction

Officers arriving at the home Friday evening heard multiple shots and quickly set up a containment area, Unified Police Department Lt. Shane Manwaring told reporters Friday night. Neighbors in the area of 3900 South and Highland Drive were asked to shelter in place, and SWAT and hostage negotiators were brought in.

According to reports, at least one robot sent into the house by Unified Fire Authority was shot, as was a drone. River did not confirm specifics.

“He was extremely well armed with various firearms and a lot of ammunition,” Rivera said. “Some of the tools and resources that we use, he took those out.”

Rivera said she is sad for the families and friends that lost loved ones, but she is grateful no UPD or others officers were harmed.

“I’m extremely proud of them, and all of the other agencies that came here,” she said. “We have what’s called a mutual aid agreement. And when one of us needs something, all the others come, and I can’t tell you how helpful that was for us. We’re just extremely proud of everyone at the end of the day if we can send our officers home uninjured.”

Gephardt Daily will continue to update this developing story as more information is made known.



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