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Utah officer killed, 6 others wounded in shootout

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 Wednesday Jan. 4, 2012. The suspect was also shot. (AP Photo/Erin Hooley - Standard-Examiner)

OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- A shooting in Ogden that killed an officer and wounded five other drug task force members and a suspect was sparked when officers tried to search the house where the suspect apparently lives, authorities said Thursday at a news conference.

The suspect, Matthew David Stewart, 37, has a limited criminal history.

Stewart suffered injuries that are not life threatening, though it's unclear if he was shot. He is in a hospital under guard.

The officer killed, Jared Francom, was with the Ogden Police Department. He had a wife and two young children.

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

Authorities said the conditions of the others officers range from serious to critical.

The officers went to the house Wednesday evening intending to search it as part of an drug-related investigation. When there was no answer, they entered and were fired upon.

The shots rang out before 9 p.m. as law enforcement officers converged at the house on Jackson Avenue, said police spokesman Lt. Tony Fox.

After one of the officers was shot, police blocked off the area from 34th Street and Jackson Avenue to 32nd Street and a SWAT team took positions in that area of Ogden, which is about 35 miles north of Salt Lake City.

The team serving the search warrant involved officers from the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force. The force's website says the unit is made up of officers from the Weber County Sheriff's Office, local police departments and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

Four of the officers were taken to nearby McKay-Dee Hospital. Several off-duty doctors and nurses were called in to help with the situation, according to hospital spokesman Chris Dallin.

Witnesses said they heard three quick pops followed by a two- to three-minute pause, then lots of gunfire.

"We came running outside to see what was going on," Janessa Vanderstappen, who lives nearby, told the Deseret News. "Officers told us to go back in our house."

Vanderstappen said she went back inside, and minutes later heard yelling coming from the backyard. She said she walked onto the back porch to see officers addressing a person hiding in a nearby shed.

"There's cops telling him to `put your hands up, put your hands up,'" she said.

Mat Weinberger, who lives about a half block from the scene, said he first thought the noise was fireworks.

From the porch, he told the Salt Lake Tribune that he could see several police cars parked at a nearby intersection. He also could hear a voice on the police radio shout that an officer was down.

He estimated that between 30 to 40 shots were fired during the shootout.

"Chaotic end to a quiet night," he said.



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