OGDEN, Utah — The Ogden Police Department have identified Nate Lyday as the officer shot and killed after responding to a domestic violence call Thursday.
The community came together early Thursday to commemorate Lyday — placing dozens of American flags to honor his memory. Chief Randy Watt said those were placed as a reminder of the 24-year-old officer.
“A warrior, guardian and public servant, officer Lyday sacrificed his life on behalf of the threatened and fearful family at the scene,” Watt said.
The young officer — with just 15 months of duty — was responding to the call when he was shot. Gunshots came from inside the home and exited out the door, hitting two officers.
He was later pronounced dead at McKay Dee Hospital.
On Friday, law enforcement agencies from across the state participated in a procession in Lyday’s honor, starting from the Cal Rampton Public Safety Building in Taylorsville to the Lindquist Mortuary in Ogden.
“A SON OF OGDEN”
Lyday was born in Ogden and graduated from Weber State University, where he graduated with a degree in criminal justice. He was a second-generation officer, following after his father who worked in law enforcement in Davis County, according to Watt.
He says, “We will mourn for a short period, but more importantly, we will celebrate that he lived and we will thank the God we worship he was one of us.”
Lyday was about to celebrate his five-year wedding anniversary with his wife, who just recently graduated from Weber State University.
A “JOKESTER,” BUT A GENTLE GIANT
Lyday’s mother remembers him as the kind of person who always knew he wanted to serve his hometown, even at a young age. Nancy Lyday says her son was always ready to help others and she hopes others will carry on his legacy.
She says Lyday loved his wife with all his heart, and was thrilled about becoming a cop.
“He just could not wait. He jumped in with both feet and was ready from the second he could. He was so excited,” Lyday says.
She was overcome with emotion and brought to tears seeing the tributes being made in her son’s honor. Throughout the day, more and more people left flowers on the Ogden Police car parked in front of headquarters and more American flags were placed along the building.
“Now that his name has been released, people are coming down to support him if they knew him or not. That means a lot. The support from this community is key,” she says.
LATEST ON THE SUSPECT
Not many details were released about suspect 53-year old John Benedict Coleman. However, officers say they’ve been called to his home to investigate domestic violence claims in the past.
“We’re still investigating his background, but he did have a criminal past,” according to Ogden Police Lieutenant Brian Eynon.
The Deseret News reports Coleman’s history in Utah was relatively minor, but he had a criminal record in Maryland and weapons-related offenses in Louisiana. Eynon says they don’t believe he had a gun at the time Lyday arrived on the scene — when Coleman was outside his home.
When officers arrived, Coleman ran inside his home where he began shooting at the officers through the closed door. Police returned fire as they worked to drag injured officers away from the scene.
In the meantime, Eynon says the entire department is getting a lot of support from other law enforcement agencies all over the state, which includes members of the peer-support team.
He says, “We’ve called on those individuals and their contacts to come. They’re from Salt Lake, they’re from UHP and they’re supporting our officers, right now.”