SOUTH OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) – A standoff that began in South Ogden lasted close to 14 hours, required the help of multiple agencies, and led to an armored vehicle coming under fire with five officers inside.
“There’s a window that got hit,” Lt. Cortney Ryan told ABC4. “There was actually an officer looking out that window when it was hit, so thank goodness that we had that and that it was armored. That definitely saved his life.”
Lt. Ryan with Weber County Sheriff’s Office is talking about the the department’s urban rescue vehicle and the role it played in keeping officers save during the incident.
“We estimate that approximately 40 rounds hit this vehicle,” Lt. Ryan stated as he stood in front of the massive, green painted vehicle. Just above Lt. Ryan’s left shoulder, on the hood of the vehicle, were two large bullet holes. During the shooting, five people were inside the vehicle, one from the sheriff’s office, who was driving, and four mamber of S.W.A.T. Not one of the officers on the vehicle was injured as a result of the gunfire.
The damage from the bullets is visible in areas where the vehicle is not armored, as well as the window Lt. Ryan mentioned.
The county bought the urban rescue vehicle about eight years ago and started depolying it to different scenes across the state one year ago.
The vehicle can be used to rescue people during a flood, or on dangerous terrain, or in active shooter situations like the one in South Ogden.
“That’s where one of these vehicles comes in handy,” Lt. Ryan stated. He continued, “To get officers in and to hopefully neutralize the situation and to bring it to a safe resolve.”
Lt. Ryan explained that neutralizing the situation is always the main goal. He said that while many people do not agree with local police forces having military-grade equipment, it can help prevent situations from evolving into active shootings. He added: “If we can deter something from happening by a mere presence of either officers or our equipment, you know, then that’s a bonus for us. So, there is a little bit of an intimidation factor that it brings.”
Lt. Ryan explained that along with keeping officers safe during dangerous situations, the vehicle is also used to protect people in the area. It’s essentially parked near the area where gun fire is originating and used as a wall to sheild bystanders and nearby homes from an active shooter’s line of fire. This was the case in South Ogden.
“We’re very fortunate that we didn’t have a citizen or officer get hit with some of that gunfire,” stated Lt. Ryan.