Update: Officials ID man dead after hostage situation in Tooele

TOOELE, Utah, Oct. 19, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Police have identified a suspect fatally shot after a six-hour hostage standoff in Tooele that began Saturday night.

The deceased man is Tutuila “Ben” Pine Koonwaiyou, 27, according to Tooele City Police Department officials.

The incident started in the area of Cafe Rio, at 1205 N. Main St., at approximately 9 p.m., Tooele City Police Department spokesman Lt. Jeremy Hansen told Gephardt Daily on Sunday.

Police were called on a report of a protective order violation, Hansen said. Patrol officers arrived on scene and located a man matching the description provided by dispatch, as well as a woman and a juvenile male.

The suspect allegedly forced the woman and the juvenile into a car, and displayed that he had a gun. At some point during the standoff, the suspect drove from the parking lot outside the Cafe Rio to the parking lot outside the nearby Costa Vida restaurant, at 1197 N. Main St.

The suspect held the woman and child hostage, Hansen said, and used the woman as a shield.

Officers attempted to talk to the suspect, Hansen said, then called in SWAT teams as well as two hostage negotiators.

The suspect released the juvenile but continued to hold the woman hostage. Eventually, at approximately 3 a.m., the suspect got out of the car, with his arms wrapped around the woman, Hansen said. He then “went for” his gun, Hansen added.

Three officers fired at the suspect, who was fatally injured. Those three officers have been placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated. The investigation will be undertaken by an outside agency, as is protocol with officer-involved critical incidents.

The woman who was held hostage was transported to an area hospital with injuries that are not life-threatening, Hansen said. It’s not clear exactly how the woman was injured. The juvenile was not hurt.

No officers were injured in the course of the incident.

Tooele City PD is asking to speak with anyone who may have witnessed anything during the night of Saturday, Oct. 17, regarding the hostage situation near the Cafe Rio parking lot in Tooele.

“If you or someone you know witnessed anything that night, we ask that you contact dispatch at 435-882-5600 option 1, the police department 435-882-8900, or message this page. We appreciate the help of the public in this matter,” the department said in a Facebook post.




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