Gunshots lead to arrest in domestic violence incident

A St. George Police officer searches the Cadillac Escalade connected to a report of gunshots heard on West Snow Canyon Parkway, St. George, Jan 30, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – Police arrested a St. George man on multiple charges Thursday night following reports of gunshots heard in a neighborhood off Snow Canyon Parkway that ultimately stemmed from a domestic violence incident.

Around 9 p.m., in the area of 1100 West and 1400 North, police officers heard what sounded like multiple gunshots, according to a statement from St. George Police. While trying to determine the origin of the shots, calls began to come into the St. George Communications Center reporting gunshots in the same area. An additional three-to-four shots were heard by officers as they neared the area.

A police officer takes a statement from a man at the scene on West Snow Canyon Parkway, St. George, Jan 30, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News
A police officer takes a statement from a man at the scene on West Snow Canyon Parkway, St. George, Jan 30, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

Another call came into dispatch from a person who reported they had gone outside and found damage on their home and property consistent with being hit by bullets. Officers continued to narrow in on the area where they believed the shots originated, and ultimately came to a residence on 1173 West Snow Canyon Parkway.

Some area residents thought the sounds were from fireworks being set off.

“About an hour ago, maybe a little bit longer now, I heard there were pops, sounded like fireworks,” neighbor Christine Parks said. “And I was kind of wondering why someone would be doing fireworks in the middle of a rainstorm. That is what I heard. My neighbor said she heard the same thing.”

Evidence of gunfire was found at the scene and it also appeared that a vehicle had recently left the home as well.

According to a probable cause statement, dispatchers contacted the homeowner who said the man currently occupying the home was 43-year-old Robert Swan. The homeowner also said Swan drove a white Cadillac Escalade.

About this time a call came into dispatch reporting that a man was observed kicking the doors to the pharmacy at the Albertson’s supermarket at 1973 West Sunset Boulevard. The pharmacy was closed at the time, and witnesses identified the man as “Rob” and said he left with a woman in a white Cadillac Escalade.

The Escalade was found and stopped by officers in the area of 1300 North and 1200 West, traveling in the direction of the home on West Snow Canyon Parkway. According to the probable cause statement, officers at the traffic stop confirmed Swan and the woman were involved in the earlier reported gunfire incident. One officer said Swan “had very slurred speech and I could I smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath.”

Scene at a residence involved in a domestic violence incident, St. George, Jan 30, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News
Scene at a residence involved in a domestic violence incident, St. George, Jan 30, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

After Swan was placed in handcuffs and informed of his Miranda rights, he told officers he and the woman, identified as his wife, had not been fighting and that they had gone to the pharmacy to get a medical prescription filled. He said he owned firearms, but that they were kept at his parents’ home elsewhere, and that he did not have a gun at his home.

Officers then transported Swan and the woman back to their home and conducted a search of the residence. A .45 caliber pistol was found in the home and evidence indicated various shots had been fired from the outdoor patio and inside of the home. The police spoke to Swan’s wife and concluded what had taken place was a domestic violence incident.

The woman was upstairs when Swan became mad for some reason and went outside. She then heard multiple gunshots before Swan walked back inside. She said she became scared and told Swan she was going leave. At that point, she said Swan grabbed her and held her at gunpoint. After this occurred the two went to the Albertson’s pharmacy.

According to the probable cause statement, Swan continued to deny he had any guns at the home. He then told police he owned a .45 caliber Ruger pistol, but said it wasn’t in the home either. The officer interviewing Swan told him the gun had been found in the home. Swan denied he had fired the gun inside or outside of the home and that he never pointed the gun at his wife. Based on the evidence and the statement of Swan’s wife, Swan was placed under arrest.

While on the way to Washington County’s Purgatory Correctional Facility, Swan told officers what happened with the gun was a mistake. He said he was outside loading the gun and trying to figure out how to operate it “when it just went off” and fired multiple times.

Swan was charged with a first-degree felony count of aggravated kidnapping, third-degree felony aggravated assault with a weapon, a class-A misdemeanor for reckless endangerment, two class-B misdemeanors for discharging a firearm in city limits and criminal mischief, and a class-C misdemeanor for intoxication.

The victim sustained no physical injuries.

Swan was booked into Washington County’s Purgatory Correctional Institute and his bail stands at $78,259.

St. George News Reporter John Teas contributed to this story.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

A St. George Police officer searches the Cadillac Escalade connected to a report of gunshots heard on West Snow Canyon Parkway, St. George, Jan 30, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News
A St. George Police officer searches the Cadillac Escalade connected to a report of gunshots heard on West Snow Canyon Parkway, St. George, Jan 30, 2014 | Photo by John Teas, St. George News

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13 Comments

  • Molly January 31, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I’m glad that we Americans are smart enough to realize that drinking and access to fire arms is a bad combination. Oh wait…..nope we haven’t figured that out yet obviously……

    Glad no one was hurt!

    • Steve January 31, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      Most law abiding gun owners are extremely responsible with there firearms. There are always going to be a few idiots that are the exception and should not have any. I hope when you say “we Americans”, you are not referring to the majority of gun owners.

    • Bub January 31, 2014 at 4:18 pm

      LOL pretty much anything done while drunk is a bad combination. 😀 🙂

    • Utah Fact February 1, 2014 at 8:08 am

      Utah leads the nation in violence against women, prescription drug abuse, gun ownership, and it’s right near the top for suicides. What are the combinations that Utah presents to cause these startling statistics?

      • Bub February 1, 2014 at 7:55 pm

        Yes, but how about drunk driving. I’ve nearly been killed twice by drunks on the road.

  • Annie January 31, 2014 at 4:37 pm

    Do you seriously believe that?

  • Bender January 31, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    Cadallic Escalade: idiot chariot

  • Richard February 1, 2014 at 6:50 am

    All you dumb… Mormons need to get over yourselves and move to a private island were no one can see you and you all can tickle each other in private. No one can stand you people and your gay… atitutudes and your wannabe laws and those horrific dreeses you women wear. Really get a life and get out of America.
    Ed. ellipses

  • Welcome to Utardia February 1, 2014 at 8:20 am

    Why does almost every gun person in Utah act like a Utard?

  • Rex February 1, 2014 at 11:04 am

    Mormons did essentially move to a private island called utah but everybody else liked what they did with it and decided to move there too but then said we don’t like you Mormons so you guys need to leave this wonderful place you built.

    • Barf February 1, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      After reading your comment, I threw up a little. I didn’t know mormons built zion, bryce canyon, the arches… more likely the mormons came to a very desolate and remote area to hide out and practice a made up religion and their disgusting polygamist ways.

  • Bub February 1, 2014 at 11:21 am

    As someone who’s lived in Idaho I can tell you that utah gun nuts seem tame in comparison.

  • Please February 1, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    Why do the idiots of society always have to blame religion (Richard and Barf). It sounds like someone has some really mommy and daddy issues and need to get over them and get a real life.

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