SWAT responds when shots are fired in St. George neighborhood

St. George Police Department's SWAT team mobilizes Sunday for an early morning incident in the southwest area of St. George, Utah, March 26, 2017 | Submitted photo, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — SWAT and law enforcement responded to a domestic disturbance incident in the southwest area of St. George early Sunday morning after a firearm was reportedly discharged during an altercation.

St. George Police Department’s SWAT team mobilizes Sunday for an early morning incident in the southwest area of St. George, Utah, March 26, 2017 | Submitted photo, St. George News

A man was taken into custody without incident after a domestic dispute turned a quiet residential street into a scene of heavy police presence in the early morning hours.

Shortly before 4 a.m., officers were dispatched to a reported domestic disturbance at an address in “the southwest area of St. George,” St. George Police Lt. Joseph Hartman said.

A dispute was allegedly taking place between a couple with children inside of the residence.

After speaking with witnesses, officers learned that during a verbal argument a firearm was discharged, Hartman said, in or around a home where the children resided and were present at the time.

“Officers who initially responded to the call had limited information,” Hartman said, “which was all that was available when they were dispatched to the address.”

Once on scene, police requested additional support. The St. George Police Department’s SWAT team was mobilized, along with crisis intervention personnel to assist with negotiations if needed.

St. George Police Department’s SWAT team mobilizes Sunday for an early morning incident in the southwest area of St. George, Utah, March 26, 2017 | Submitted photo, St. George News

“We really had no idea if there were hostages involved, or what the situation was inside of the home,” Hartman said, “so we take precautions to keep everyone safe.”

Additional officers began to arrive, followed by a succession of SWAT and police vehicles, filling the quiet street, according to a witness who spoke on condition of anonymity given concern for his relationship with neighbors in the community.

The street was completely blocked off by SWAT vehicles, along with two snipers and numerous officers surrounding the residence, the witness said, adding that the situation was “pretty intense as far as the manpower that happened there.”

The man surrendered shortly after negotiators made contact with him inside the residence, Hartman said, and he was taken into custody without injury or incident to anyone involved.

Snipers positioned during an early morning SWAT incident in the southwest area of St. George, Utah, March 26, 2017 | Submitted photo, St. George News

“It took a while to make contact with him,” Hartman said, “which is why SWAT and police were in the area for as long as they were.”

Negotiators are used in this type of situation because they are trained to diffuse the situation, which in many cases leads to a more favorable outcome, Hartman said.

The suspect was transported and booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility on several charges.

The SWAT team is comprised of St. George Police Officers who are assigned to the team as a secondary position, Hartman said, which is unlike larger police departments who employ a separate SWAT team that serves in that capacity full time.

“The police handled themselves in a very positive and efficient manner. The way in which they resolved the situation without incident and how they conducted themselves was impressive,” the anonymous witness said. “Hats off to the St. George Police Department, they never get enough credit.”

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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6 Comments

  • outsider_100@hotmail.com March 26, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Glad to hear of a quiet outcome. Tonaquint Terrace can check off the rapid response of SWAT as a community feature….

  • debbie March 27, 2017 at 3:08 am

    for shame for shame for shame that I gotta say this.. —–>>>>> this looks like a segment of starship troopers for a minute.. just waiting for the giant maneating slime alien to come out and over the roof…

    —->>>> making light of something very serious however is shameless.. I’m just glad no one got hurt.. they did a good job.

  • knobe March 27, 2017 at 8:52 am

    One does have to wonder ,
    what % of those 2nd amendment private citizen guns are used on bad guys and
    what % are used on family / friends during arguments ?

  • Bender March 27, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    An armed society is a safe society. Thank heavens that these parents saw fit to arm themselves and were able to menace one another in front of their children. These young uns will grow up really understanding the value of gunnin’ up.

  • Who March 27, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Knobe, there are plenty of places that don’t allow guns. Why are you making yourself miserable by staying here?

    • Real Life March 27, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      Knobe just asked a question, and it brought out “don’t like it then leave” guy.

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