Published January 31, 2012
SALT LAKE CITY – Radio traffic between law enforcement on the night of a deadly shooting in Utah captures a frantic scene, with officers first demanding ambulances for wounded comrades, then ordering police to "throw them in a car" and rush the injured to a hospital.
The scanner recordings from a Jan. 4 drug raid were released Tuesday by Weber County authorities. They illustrate a scene not unlike a war zone, with police yelling that shots are being fired and ordering emergency responders to take cover.
"We have several officers down. Several officers down!" barks an officer identified on the recordings as Whiskey 8. "We need medical. We need medical up here right now! Several medicals, now!"
Authorities go back and forth asking about a downed officer before a shaking voice cuts into the radio traffic.
"I've got the downed officer ... he's going to be in my car," the unidentified man says.
Ogden police officer Jared Francom, 30, died during the shootout with a suspect during a drug raid on a home in Ogden, about 40 miles north of Salt Lake City. Five other officers were injured.
Police said Matthew David Stewart, a 37-year-old Army veteran suspected of growing marijuana, ignored a knock at the door when drug task force members arrived to serve a warrant. They said he waited for them to enter his house before firing from a concealed position with a semi-automatic pistol.
When police returned fire, Stewart fled through a rear bedroom window, according to an affidavit. He hid in a backyard shed, where police say he continued firing, nearly hitting another police officer.
It was at that point that Stewart was shot and taken into custody, prosecutors said.
The injured Stewart was released from the hospital nearly a month after the incident, and was booked in jail Monday on one count of criminal homicide aggravated murder, seven counts of attempted aggravated murder, and one count of producing marijuana. The charges were enhanced by a dangerous weapons count.
Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty if Stewart is convicted.