Armed standoff with police in Ivins ends safely

Santa Clara Ivins patrol vehicle, composite image by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A standoff ended swiftly with an arrest after officers descended upon an Ivins neighborhood and de-escalated a potentially dangerous situation that began as a family disturbance Monday afternoon.

Shortly before 5 p.m. officers and emergency medical personnel were dispatched to a home in Ivins near the 500 block of Center Street after a 911 call reported that a family member was armed and acting strangely, Santa Clara-Ivins Police Sgt. Jaron Studley said.

Brian Henry Norris, of Ivins, Utah, booking photo, April 23, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

When officers learned that the man, identified as 50-year-old Brian Norris, was seen “patrolling” the property with two rifles “slung over his shoulder,” additional officers were called to the scene, Studley said.

Norris had recently relocated to Southern Utah from the Salt Lake City area and was staying in a bedroom located in a detached garage on his stepmother’s property.

Police were also told that Norris had been acting “erratically, yelling, screaming and his behavior was off,” Studley said, adding that police were also informed that Norris was just released from “either probation or parole,” which restricted him from being in possession of any firearms.

Meanwhile, the family member who initially called 911 was able to leave the home safely and remained in the staging area set up by police during the incident.

As reinforcements arrived, officers were positioned across the one-acre property that was somewhat secluded, Studley said, and formed a perimeter around the residence to reduce any possible risk to the public.

Officers attempted to establish contact with Norris to de-escalate the situation, but before contact could be made they observed Norris walking out of the garage unarmed.

When Norris saw police he attempted to retreat back into the garage, but officers persuaded him to stay outside and talk with them, Studley said, which is when police noticed a .30-06 bullet in his pocket.

In the meantime, a search of the garage and surrounding property was conducted to ensure there were no other individuals on the premises, which is when police made another discovery.

“As soon as we passed that threshold where Norris was standing minutes before, we passed a .30-06 rifle that he had just chambered a round in,” Studley said.

Norris was then arrested without further incident and transported to Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.

Police obtained a search warrant for the garage where Norris’ bedroom was located found three additional firearms.

They also found a white substance that appeared to be methamphetamine and a “green, leafy substance” that appeared to be marijuana, according to police.

The incident began as a verbal confrontation between Norris and a family member regarding several issues related to the living arrangement, including the care and behavior of the man’s two dogs, Studley said.

Problems were brewing over the course of a few days as family members attempted to talk to Norris, who, according to statements made at the scene, continued to “put them off and refused to talk to them,” Studley said.

The conversation on Monday became “disorderly at some point, and once he got ahold of his father’s firearms it became potentially dangerous,” Studley said.

Police also received information during the incident that Norris was allegedly involved in a prior standoff with police during an incident outside of Southern Utah, a detail that caused greater concern while they were calling in reinforcements.

The incident ended quickly and without any injury or danger to the public, which in large part is attributable to the conduct of the officers and the quiet manner in which a perimeter was set up around the property without agitating Norris, which could have escalated the situation further, Studley said.

“I believe that if we would have made our presence known while he was still in the garage it may have been a whole different story.”

According to court documents, Norris appeared in court Tuesday and was formally charged with one third-degree felony count of possession of a firearm by a restricted person and one count of possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor.

He was also charged with one count of possession of a controlled substance and one count of possession of paraphernalia, both of which are class B misdemeanors, along with disorderly conduct causing public alarm, an infraction.

Norris remains in jail at the writing of this report.

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 statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. 

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Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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  • justsaying April 24, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    I’d like to offer this loser a paid one way ticket on the Salt Lake Express shuttle. 50 years old, home on a Monday, acting loony, no job Mr. Norris? Drugs, guns, living in the garage with stepmom, all the ingredients of a major slacker.

  • Bender April 25, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Guns turned a bad situation into a worse situation.

  • hiker75 April 25, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Glad the way this turned out. Another example of someone who should not have guns. But then anyone who wants them can get them…

  • The Rest Of The Story April 27, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    I know this guy. Everyone (family and friends) have gone out of their way and tried to help him. But he is a pathological liar who will just say whatever he thinks anyone wants to hear and he doesn’t even care that his lies and crimes cause people distress. He is a classic narcissist. Friends, family, it doesn’t matter to him, he just takes advantage of people and their generosity with no appreciation whatsoever. He causes all his own problems in his life but never takes responsibility and just blames everyone else. Unfortunately, it’s hard to say this and I don’t say it out of spite but genuine concern–but I hope this will be the wakeup call he needs that he needs to stop lying to himself and blaming everyone else, and start taking responsibility for his life. I hope he gets a long confinement sentence and that the judge will send him to mental health treatment and addiction recovery for a long time, which he has been in before, but this time he needs to take it all seriously, if not in jail then confined in a mental hospital because otherwise he will just self-destruct and continue to cause more harm to others as well.

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