Police exchange fire with gunman, man hospitalized after being hit in the torso

ST. GEORGE – Police officers exchanged gunfire with an adult male around 1 a.m. after responding to a family fight in progress at the Millcreek Cottage Townhomes, 1040 N 1300 W.

Officer Johnny Heppler said officers were called after a physical altercation had occurred at the home between an adult male and an adult female, and that the male was intoxicated, had a firearm and was threatening harm to others.

When officers made contact, Robert Bell, 49, allegedly brandished a shotgun and then shot at the direction of the officers. Officers returned fire, striking the Bell in the torso, and the male went back inside the home. No officers were injured.

Heppler said all other family members left the home before officers arrived.

A neighbor said he heard 10 shots fired in total, according to Dixie Press reporter Tracie Sullivan who is on scene.

Heppler said the SWAT team was called in, as well as two negotiators, after Bell barricaded himself inside the home.  Heppler said in a press release that initial communication with Bell was unsuccessful and he refused to surrender. SWAT made entry into the home shortly before 3 a.m. and apprehended Bell with no further incident, he said.

Bell was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center for his injuries where he remains at this time.

The Washington County Critical Incident Task Force responded to the scene to conduct the ongoing investigation.
Per department policy, the officers involved in the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.

email: jwatkins@stgnews.com, tsullivan@stgnews.com

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