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Police: Six missionaries held at gunpoint

Photo KSL 5 TV

WEST VALLEY CITY – A West Valley City man has been arrested for holding six missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at gunpoint.

Police say the missionaries had scheduled a visit yesterday evening with 46-year-old Paul Marquez at a trailer park on Coventry Park Drive off 3200 West. When the missionaries arrived, he let them in then pointed his weapon at them.

“He began acting erratic and produced a firearm.  I was told that he showed pornography to one of the missionaries,” according to West Valley Police Lieutenant M.T. Johnson.

Marquez reportedly had wild mood swings while the six missionaries were in the home.

“He was up and down.  He’d be friendly one minute and erratic one minute.  At one of the points when he was friendly, it sounds like they were able to talk their way out of the house,” he says.

Johnson is giving high praise to the missionaries for talking their way out of the home without any reports of fighting between them and Marquez.

“In my opinion, they were able to get out, they handled it very, very well,” he adds.

The missionaries called their Mission President when they were let go an hour later, who then called police.

Sgt. Sean McCarthy believes Marquez had been drinking, which may explain his behavior.

Marquez was booked six charges of aggravated kidnapping, six charges of aggravated assault, and three counts of possession of a weapon by a restricted person.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints issued a statement, saying, “We are grateful these six missionaries were able to calmly and appropriately deal with this situation and leave without injury.  The Church is working to provide any needed support and counseling to them as they recover from this alarming ordeal.”