ST. GEORGE, Utah – A baby who was being held hostage by a man during a standoff with police was stabbed before officers shot the man after negotiations and beanbag rounds did not get him to hand over the child, police said.
The baby was flown to a Salt Lake City (search) hospital Friday night with stab wounds to some internal organs, but expected to live, St. George police spokesman Craig Harding said Saturday morning.
Harding said the child was a boy around 6-7 months old.
The child's mother ran to a neighbor's and called police Friday night around 8:30 p.m., saying she had been stabbed in the hand by a man who still had her baby. Officers who responded, including one who negotiated with the man — who was in the country illegally — in Spanish, but the man did not drop the knife and continued to threaten the child.
When officers saw the man stab the baby, they tried to subdue him with the beanbag rounds, then bullets, Harding said.
"It stopped him from doing what he was doing and we were able to grab the child and rush it to medical services," Harding said.
An officer grabbed the child and ran it to a waiting ambulance. It was taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center (search), then flown to a Salt Lake City hospital.
"They told us they didn't see any reason the child wouldn't live," Harding said. "The reason they life-flighted it was it had some stab wounds to some internal organs."
The man was identified as Valentin S. Echevarria (search), 28, who had been deported recently, Harding said. Echevarria, who was believed to be the mother's boyfriend, was treated and released for a gunshot wound to the hip, then taken to the Washington County Jail and held on charges of aggravated attempted murder and aggravated kidnapping, Harding said.