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2 confirmed dead after SWAT team standoff at Midvale apartment

Police officers, along with a SWAT team, are responding to gun shots fired near Midvale apartments reported Friday. (Paul Nelson, KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Unified Police Department have confirmed two are dead after responding to gun shots related to a domestic violence call Friday morning. Officers confirmed both a male and female died, but their identities have not been released. 

As police had the Candlestick Lane Apartments on 7800 South blocked off and people were ordered to shelter in place, residents like Austin Oliver couldn’t help but worry about their kids, still in the building.

He said, “My wife is a nervous wreck, over here.  I’m trying to stay calm and composed.”

According to him, the scene became extremely serious in a short amount of time.

“When we came out of our apartment to go to the store, we called the front office just to see what was going on and they said it was a wellness check.  Then, when we were on our way back, they had this whole street blocked off,” Oliver said.

Unified Police Detective Ken Hansen reports they were originally called to a reported case of domestic violence stemming from a fight between the two people inside. Initially, all police could confirm was there was “evidence of gunfire” and “evidence of blood.”  Investigators say the suspect may have been texting and sharing pictures of what was happening inside the apartment with people he knew. 

Hansen said, “We were getting information from outside this complex.  Based on the number and the images we got, we decided to respond, evacuate and shelter in place.”

Some of these pictures may have indicated the woman was already dead.

Eventually, police were able to get in contact with the suspect.  Hansen says they were hopeful that they would be able to bring at least one person out alive, but, talks broke down.

“In these situations, sometimes people start to escalate and it’s difficult to communicate with them,” Hansen said.  “We were in phone communication.  Also, we were in direct communication outside of the apartment.  We heard a couple of gunshots, and, after that, the communication ended.”

After that, SWAT officers used flash grenades and other methods of getting inside the apartment for a better view of what was happening

“We put a robot in and it determined there was no movement.  Then, our SWAT team entered and found that both persons were deceased,” Hansen said.

Later, police reopened 7800 South and residents of the apartment complex were allowed to go back home.  No other people in the buildings were hurt.

“The community is safe,” Hansen said. “It’s an unfortunate situation we were hoping would end differently but it didn’t. But we’ll be allowing people back in soon.”

Update 1:48 p.m.:

Police have evacuated one of the nearby buildings, telling residents in the complex to shelter in place until further notice. 

Hansen said officers received information on reports of domestic violence at the scene, where they’ve heard gun shots from inside the apartments. 

SWAT teams are using robots to see what’s going on inside the apartment and determine whether there’s anyone inside the apartment who needs medical attention. Hansen confirmed there is a man and a woman inside the apartment — however, officers will not release identifying information at this time. 

It’s unclear if both people in the apartment are suffering injuries at this time, or what the severity of those injuries may be. 

Communication between the SWAT team and the suspect inside the apartment building has now stopped. 


BREAKING, 12:49 p.m.: 

Police officers, along with a SWAT team, are responding to gun shots fired near Midvale apartments reported Friday. The standoff occurred near Candlestick Apartments near 7800 South and 80 East. 

The Unified Police Department confirmed gun shots were fired with evidence of blood at the scene, according to detective Ken Hansen. Officers had made contact with the suspect, attempting to calm him down and have him exit his apartment building.