Update: Police ID suspect, elderly woman killed in South Salt Lake hostage incident

Abe Martinez is shown in a 2004 mugshot. Photo: Salt Lake County

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah, June 18, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Police have identified an 89-year-old woman killed after being taken hostage by her grandson Sunday inside her South Salt Lake City home.

Her husband was also critically injured by a suspect that police initially said was a stranger to the couple, but turned out to be the grandson of the elderly woman and the step-grandson of her husband.

The deceased woman has been identified as Rose Martinez, South Salt Lake Police Department public information officer Gary Keller said in a news release Monday morning.

The deceased suspect has been identified as Abe Martinez, 44, a Salt Lake County resident. Abe Martinez was recently paroled from the Federal Prison system, the news release said.

The family has requested the 71-year-old hospitalized man’s name not be released. His condition has been upgraded to serious and stable.

Officers were sent to the home at 451 E. Stanley Ave. (3100 South) just before 10:35 a.m., when family members called police saying an unknown man had answered the phone at their grandparents’ residence.

As officers arrived at the couples’ home, so too did family members.

South Salt Lake City Police Chief Jack Carruth said officers tried to negotiate with the suspect, later identified as Abe Martinez, but were rebuffed “after the exchange of a few choice words.”

Carruth said the hostage-taker then “made it very clear his intent was to harm or to kill the individuals inside the residence.”

Unified SWAT officers were called in and took up positions outside the home, before deploying an immediate action team.

Carruth said the three-man unit “engaged that suspect … shots were fired … and that individual was killed on scene.”

Police also found the elderly couple. At that time, police said the husband’s injuries were life-threatening.

Carruth confirmed that at least one weapon belonging to the suspect was found at the scene. Carruth said the weapon was fired prior to the SWAT team’s arrival.

The Officer-Involved Critical Incident Protocol has been invoked with the West Valley Police Department taking over the investigation.

Carruth said it was unclear how many officers in the three-man unit opened fire on the suspect.

The immediate action team consisted of one officer from South Salt Lake Police Department and two from Unified Police.


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