SPRINGVILLE, Utah, June 13, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Springville Police Lt. Warren Foster on Monday shared new information on an alleged knife-wielding man who was shot and killed Friday after confronting a police officer outside a Walmart Supercenter store.
The man has been identified as Jonathan Hamilton, Foster said, admitting investigators have not yet confirmed his age, although they do believe he had a wife and four children.
Foster is not believed to be a resident of Springville, Foster said.
And, in an odd twist, investigators believe the call that came alerting dispatch to an alleged shooting inside Walmart came from the phone found in Hamilton’s possession after his death. Officers believe he made the call.
“I don’t know what his intentions were,” Foster said Monday at a news conference. “I don’t know what was going through his mind. I don’t know. Unfortunately, we may never get that information.
The caller reported hearing gunfire inside Walmart shooting, then hung up, Foster said.
“Dispatch immediately tried to call back with no answer on second callback,” Foster said. When reached, “The man answered and said ‘I can’t talk.'”
Officials pinged the phone and found it was near Walmart, Foster said, “so officers rushed to the area of the Walmart.
“The first officer that arrived pulled up to the east entrance to the Walmart store. And just as he parked his car and came to a stop, a vehicle crashed into him from behind,” Foster said. “Then the driver of the vehicle got out and ran up to the officer’s door before he was able to get out of his car. As the officer did get out of the car, there was a man feet away from him, and coming at him with a knife.”
The officer discharged his gun several times, Foster said.
“The man fell to the ground. Other officers that responded immediately rendered first aid, and called for Springville Fire and Ambulance to respond, which they did. They, too, rendered first aid, but they were unable to revive the man as he was mortally wounded and declared deceased at the scene.”
Witnesses have been interviewed, Foster said, and an Officer-Involved Critical Incident team has taken over the case.
“We do want to express our condolences to the family and to what they’re going to have to go through as a result of this incident is a very tragic scenario not only for the family, but for our police department. As many people know this is been a very difficult few weeks for our department.”
On May 18, the department was called in to search for a 17-year-old girl who was in a car with her former boyfriend, who was 19. Officers came upon the scene and discovered an attempted murder, which left victim Lily Conroy mortally wounded, and a suicide by her former boyfriend, Masao Kaanga.
Conroy’s family kept her on life-support until her organs could be donated to local patients.
Five days later, a 43-year-old Springville resident was found fatally shot in his yard. A former neighbor, 25-year-old Orem resident Hunter Ryan Lamoreaux was charged on suspicion of murder in the case after he reportedly confessed to police, and his car was spotted at the scene.
“We will get through this, and we are very well supported by our city administration and the administration of our department,” Foster said of the Saturday OICI case outside Walmart.
“It is very difficult for us as well. But we do want to make sure that the family knows that. We understand the tragedy that has happened. Our hearts go out to them, to his spouse and children…. This is not something that we want to see happen, ever.”