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Man killed in South Salt Lake standoff accused of killing grandmother

(Photo Credit: Salt Lake County Jail)

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Police in Salt Lake County are still trying to figure out why a man held an elderly couple hostage in South Salt Lake before he was shot and killed by officers.  However, they are releasing more information about who the suspect was, and who his victims are.

The woman killed in the standoff has been identified as 89-year-old Rose Martinez.  Police came to the house after her family called the couple’s home.  South Salt Lake Officer Gary Keller says her family members call to check up on her every day, and Sunday was no exception.

Keller says, “An unknown male answers the phone and at that time, I don’t think the family knew who he was.”

That man has been identified as her grandson, Abe Martinez, who was recently paroled from the federal prison system.  He was shot by officers during the standoff.  Keller says the family members who called the home didn’t recognize his voice.

“I don’t know if they haven’t met in a while or talked to each other,” Keller says.

Keller says Martinez also severely attacked his step-grandfather, who family members have asked not to be identified.  That man was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

“They have updated his condition from ‘critical’ to ‘serious but stable,’” according to Keller.

So far, Keller says they don’t know a motive for the attack, but, he says there’s a massive amount of manpower looking into the case.

“We had Unified Police officers, South Salt Lake officers and then the Officer Critical Incident, Officer Involved Shooting team is the West Valley team that’s working on it,” Keller says.