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.
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.”
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.
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