SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 20, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — An armed suspect who reportedly exchanged gunfire with Salt Lake City police then was found dead in the apartment officers targeted has been identified.
The deceased is Navada Escholt, 42, said a tweet from Salt Lake City Police Department Wednesday morning.
“At 11:30 this morning our officers received the call on the suicidal person in the area of 1660 West 900 North, behind me,” Sgt. Keith Horrocks told reporters at a Tuesday afternoon news conference.
“Our officers responded and made contact with that person. At some point in that contact that person fired off several rounds at our officers. They returned fire, and also had to take hard cover in the area to protect themselves. That has turned into a barricaded situation.”
Because officers fired their guns, the incident is being investigated by an outside team from an outside law enforcement agency, in keeping with Officer-Involved Critical Incident Protocol.
“I want to point out that we do have social workers and negotiators on scene to try to speak with a suspect, and to bring about a peaceful surrender in this case,” Horrocks said in an afternoon statement, before the suspect was found deceased. “We also have our SWAT team on scene, and I point that out because I wanted to point out that they have several tools at their disposal, that are less lethal that can also help in this situation.”
In a second statement to reporters shortly before 6 p.m. Horrocks revealed that the suspect was found dead. It is unknown whether the suspect fired the fatal shot, or was shot by police, he said, adding that answer would be sought as part of the investigation by the outside agency.
Horrocks did confirm that no family members of the victim were in the residence at the time of the incident. He also said body camera footage would be carefully reviewed by the investigating agency.
Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.