ST. GEORGE — Several homes were evacuated following a domestic disturbance in Springdale that triggered a multi-agency response to deescalate a situation that ended safely early Sunday morning.
Shortly before 5 p.m., officers were called out to a domestic disturbance reported at a residence in a remote area off of Anasazi Way after a man called 911 requesting police assistance, Springdale Police Officer Britt Ballard said.
While en route to the call, officers were advised that shots were reportedly fired inside of the home and that one of the parties involved was not able to exit the residence, at which point a request for assistance was sent out to surrounding agencies.
Officers arrived to find that the man was able to exit the home and was outside waiting for police to arrive. He explained to the officers that one shot was fired in the garage that struck both windows as it traveled through the interior of a vehicle parked inside.
Nearby homes were then evacuated and the area was secured as officers remained staged outside of the residence to deescalate the situation. Negotiations began and would continue for hours as police spoke with the woman who was still inside of the home and appeared to be emotionally distressed and possibly suicidal.
At some point, the resident went to sleep while officers remained staged outside to make sure “she didn’t leave,” Ballard said. The following morning, police were able to enter the residence and remove the firearms safely.
Arrangements were made for the woman to stay with friends or family members while the investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Domestic violence and pandemic
Reports of domestic violence were on the rise according to data collected from 22 law enforcement agencies across the country, 18 of which reported an increase in the number of calls officers were tasked with responding to, according to a special report released April 6 by Police One.
The increase has raised concerns over safety as families continue to isolate at home during the pandemic, a phenomena that may be attributed to the stress from businesses and schools closing which has left many people out of work and financially strained.
Similar increases in domestic violence have been documented after natural disasters, such as Hurricane Harvey in 2017.
Last month, the Salt Lake City Police Department reported a 33% increase in the number of domestic violence-related calls, adding that the numbers have been increasing since the beginning of the year, but showed a dramatic uptick during a two-week period in March, according to a statement released by the department March 24.
“These are challenging times and people are under a lot of stress. Unfortunately, this stress can spill out into relationships,” said Chief Mike Brown in the release. “It is never acceptable to perpetrate violence against another. We encourage people to find healthy ways of handling their stress and to think twice before acting in anger.”
In Iron County, the number of domestic calls have increased over the last month or so, Iron County Sheriff’s Lt. Del Schlosser told St. George News, while Washington City Police Chief Jason Williams said that theft, shoplifting and vehicle burglary reports have continued to climb, while domestic violence calls have remained relatively unchanged.
During Saturday’s incident, the Springdale Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Hurricane, LaVerkin and Washington City Police Departments and rangers with the National Park Service responded and assisted with the scene.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.