1 confirmed dead after West Valley officials respond to house fire, reports of shots fired

Courtesy: Carlie Brown

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WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, Aug. 9, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A female West Valley City code enforcement officer who approached a 64-year-old man at his residence was shot dead on Thursday morning.

The man, who officers found standing near the woman’s body in a driveway, was taken into police custody as firefighters battled blazes set in the woman’s city truck and a neighbor’s residence, at 4112 Wendy Ave.

Police have not yet released the identity of the unarmed woman who died, since they are still trying to reach her next of kin. The suspect’s name will be released only after he is officially booked into jail.

The incident began at 10:20 a.m.,┬áDeputy Chief Mat Ellson told reporters. The code enforcement officer responded to the man’s residence at 4102 Wendy Ave., next door to the residence that was burned.

Ellson said not much is known about any altercation or verbal exchange that may have preceded the fatal shooting. Ellson said he did not know if the suspect was holding a gun when officers approached him. He did say there was a history of code enforcement visits to the house. Code enforcement violations usually include messy yards.

Ellson said he cannot comment on reports of an accelerant that may have been used to set the fires, or many other details of the case.

The Salt Lake City Police Department will investigate the homicide since in involves West Valley City’s code enforcement department. Counselors will be made available to others in the woman’s department, Ellson said.

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