MILLCREEK, Utah (ABC4) – ABC4 is learning more about what went on behind the scenes at a standoff in Millcreek over the weekend.
Edwin Meono is a sniper and breacher on the Unified Police Department’s swat team. He said he’s never been part of a stand-off that has lasted as long as the one last Friday.
“Super rare obviously…it’s not something that happens a lot,” Meono explains.
While his team worked for 20 hours trying to get the suspect to surrender, he’s grateful other agencies stepped in to help.
“We were getting tired; we had been out there all night. We want to be fresh to make good decisions when that type of stuff goes down…so for them to give us a break, we really appreciate it,” Meono says.
Even though they didn’t get the peaceful resolution they were hoping for, Meono is relieved his team was able to save an elderly woman’s life.
“I would expect nothing less from my team members,” Meono shares.
While he says hostage situations like these are rare, he’s not surprised by the quick response.
“When it’s a hostage situation and they’re shooting at people, it’s a time that we have to go…despite your natural instinct to say, ‘get behind cover get some space’ you need to figure out what’s going on,” Meono describes.
However, he said there’s are reasons things didn’t move as quickly after they got the hostage out.
“Once it becomes a barricade, we know we have the problem isolated to an area so we can kind of slow down, keep that perimeter wide so no one gets hurt… because at this time we don’t know everything that’s going on,” Meono states.
That is part of the reason extra resources were brought in to help out.
With over 70 officers, multiple swat teams, detectives, command staff, the fire department, and forensics, it was all hands-on deck.
“You’re coordinating with patrols, sergeants, negotiators and swat teams there,” Meono continues. “Everyone kind of brings either technology, robots…cameras.”
He believes the tools used that day potentially saved one of their lives given the suspect allegedly shot at the robot sent in.
“100% that robot saved lives. It put us in a safer position, made it so that we’re able to get some of that intelligence and gather more information without putting us in harm’s way,” Meono says.
Crews gear and uniforms gave them added protection, too.
Officials said no officers fired their guns at any point during the standoff.
“When you’re making a decision like that, it’s something that you have to be 100% sure about,” Meono said. While this standoff lasted longer than most, Meono said he stands by their decision to play it safe.