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Father: Suspect in Deadly Utah Shootout Had PTSD

  • January 5, 2012: Michael Stewart holds a photo of his son Matthew David Stewart, who is accused of shooting six police officers and killing one in Ogden, Utah.

    January 5, 2012: Michael Stewart holds a photo of his son Matthew David Stewart, who is accused of shooting six police officers and killing one in Ogden, Utah.  (AP)

  • January 4, 2012: Police officers and emergency crew are seen near 3268 Jackson Street in Ogden, Utah where 6 police officers were shot, including those from the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force and the Ogden Police Department, while serving a warrant. The suspect was also shot.

    January 4, 2012: Police officers and emergency crew are seen near 3268 Jackson Street in Ogden, Utah where 6 police officers were shot, including those from the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force and the Ogden Police Department, while serving a warrant. The suspect was also shot.  (AP)

Search warrant in hand, a team of bulletproof vest-wearing officers rapped on the door of a small, red-brick Utah house, identifying themselves as police. When no one responded, authorities say, the officers burst inside.

That's when the gunfire erupted.

When it was over Wednesday night, a 7-year veteran officer was dead and five of his colleagues were wounded, some critically. The suspect, an Army veteran whose estranged father said suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and may have been self-medicating with marijuana, was injured.

Now, as the city tries to grapple with the outburst of violence and the loss of one of its officers, investigators are trying to determine how the raid as part of a drug investigation could have gone so terribly wrong.

"It's a very, very sad day," an emotional Ogden Police Chief Wayne Tarwater said Thursday.

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A candlelight vigil for the fallen officers is planned for Thursday night at an Ogden amphitheater.

Police declined to reveal details of the shooting besides a general timeline, citing the ongoing investigation.

They would not say, for instance, whether the shootout took place entirely inside the home or spilled out into the yard, how many shots were fired and how many guns were recovered.

There will be several investigations, including one by Ogden police and another outside probe by prosecutors.

Among the questions that authorities will try to answer was whether the officers, in the chaotic moments upon enty sheriff's Sgt. Nate Hutchinson and Roy officer Jason VanderWarf.

Kevin Burrell, Kasey Burrell's father, said his son was shot in the head. A seven-year veteran of the police force, the younger Burrell was sedated, but appears to be improving, his father said.

On Wednesday, witnesses said they heard three quick pops followed by a two- to three-minute pause, then lots of gunfire and officers yelling at someone to "put your hands up," in the backyard.

Outside Stewart's house on Thursday armed SWAT officers clothed in camouflage remained on guard as police continued their search of the property. The yard was taped off and dotted with numbered evidence markers.

Residents said they were shocked to hear there was any drug activity in the area or a shootout on their street.

"This has always been a quiet neighborhood. We've been here for 11 years," said Andrew Mair, who said his wife hid in the couple's basement in fear when the gunfire rang out. "I've never heard anything crazy going on."