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Man shot in Salt Lake area police dept. lobby

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (AP) — Police in the Salt Lake City suburb of West Valley City say one of its officers shot a man who pulled a gun and pointed it at an officer in the lobby of the police department.

Sgt. Jason Hauer said the man in his 20s or 30s entered the lobby Monday morning, acted suspicious and asked an officer to come out from behind a partition. Hauer said that when several officers came to help, the man pulled out a gun and at least one of them fired at him multiple times.

Hauer said he doesn't know if the suspect ever fired his gun.

The man is in a hospital, but his condition wasn't released. All officers and other police personnel are unharmed, Hauer said.

When the man came into the lobby a little before 8:30 a.m., the officer behind the partition was immediately suspicious because it's unusual to ask an officer to come out in front of the partition to speak with them, he said.

"His behavior was such that it was alarming to the officer right off," Hauer said.

The officers who fired shots at the suspect were veterans, Hauer said.

A handgun belonging to the suspect was found in the lobby. The area surrounding the police department was taped off as investigators looked for evidence. Two bullet holes in the lobby windows were visible.

Hauer told reporters there is shattered glass inside the lobby.

West Valley City briefly ordered a stop to light-rail service at a station near the police department, Utah Transit Authority spokesman Remi Barron said. Bus service also was stopped in the area, but service is back running without delays, Barron said.

Bonnie Barkhimer was sitting on the light rail train stopped about 30 yards from the police department and said she saw six or seven police officers swarmed out of building firing their guns when the shooting occurred.

She said she never saw the suspect but there were "a ton of bullets."

"This is supposed to be a safe, civilian place," Barkhimer said. "Not a place of gunfire."

Leilani Wolfgramm also witnessed the shooting from the train.

When the shots were fired, Wolfgramm said dozens of people standing at the light rail station dove for the ground or tried to board the train.

The beleaguered police department has drawn attention after federal and local prosecutors dropped nearly 100 cases that came out of the department's drug unit. The now-disbanded narcotics unit is the subject of internal investigations and probes by the county attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI.

West Valley City's population is about 132,000.


Associated Press writers Michelle Price and Paul Foy in Salt Lake City contributed to this report.