LEHI, Utah, Aug. 22, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A Lehi man is being held without bail on attempted aggravated murder charges after a SWAT standoff and allegedly firing shots toward police.
Jason Lutu, 38, is facing charges of:
- Two counts of attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony
- Felony discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony
A probable cause statement filed by an officer of the Orem Police Department says officers responded at about 5:20 p.m. Saturday on a report of possible gunshots in the area of 100 South and 1700 West, Lehi.
“The resident later identified as Jason Lutu has been making suicidal comments and threatening suicide by cop for several days,” the statement says. “A neighbor had called requesting a welfare check after hearing what he believed to be a gunshot come from Lutu’s home. When Lehi officers arrived, they set a perimeter but did not attempt contact due to the threats that Lutu was making.”
Lutu’s family reportedly was in contact with him, and was relaying information to police dispatch.
“Lutu’s family told him that the police were here and wanted to help him,” the statement says.
Police reported hearing two gunshots from the back of the residence, about 10 minutes apart. Officers attempted to negotiate with Lutu, but he refused to exit the residence or speak by phone, the statement says.
“He then began to tell family that ‘its game time’ ‘he wouldn’t be taken alive.’ The probable cause statement says. “Lutu also texted several neighbors warning them ‘get your family to safety’ ‘move out of the way before I light it up,’ and ‘Pete, get your family our (out) before I let the bullets fly.'”
At 6:17, Lutu fired several rounds from his residence toward two uniformed Lehi Police officers who were across the street, behind a minivan, the statement says.
“The Lehi officers both returned fire towards Lutu,” the statement says. “Neither the two officers nor Lutu were injured in the exchange of gunfire. One of the officers reported hearing bullets flying over his head. The officers also could see and describe Lutu’s firearm.”
Utah County SWAT responded to the scene, “and they were able to take Lutu into custody after deploying gas during a standoff that lasted for several hours,” the statement says.
It also notes a separate incident on Thursday, Aug. 19, in which deputies were informed that Lutu had pointed a firearm toward his brother and fired a round.
“Lutu’s family have been forced from the home due to his behavior,” the officer’s statement says. “Lutu is an obvious threat to himself and the public; he should be held without bail.”
Once at the Utah County Jail, Lutu was interviewed and, post Miranda, “admitted to being suicidal but could not commit suicide himself. Lutu admitted that he used the police presence and shot towards police in hopes that they would kill him.”
Lutu is being held without bail.
People having suicidal thoughts are urged to seek help. To reach the National Suicide Hotline, call 800-273-8255 (800-273-TALK).