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Police shoot, kill a man at Oquirrh Mountain LDS temple

SHARE Police shoot, kill a man at Oquirrh Mountain LDS temple

SOUTH JORDAN — An armed man was shot and killed Saturday on the grounds of the LDS Church's Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple.

Although the temple, 11022 S. 4000 West, was closed for the Christmas holiday, South Jordan Police Lt. Dan Starks said several people were outside the temple enjoying the unusually warm weather for this time of year.

At least one person spoke with or noticed a middle-age, Caucasian man who was holding a shotgun. But shortly after 12:30 p.m., Starks said police were called to the area. He was unsure Saturday if the person who had confronted the gunman was the one who made the call.

However, when police arrived, the man failed to comply with their orders to stop and drop the gun and instead ran from police while still holding the shotgun.

"Fearing for the safety of several others who were on scene obviously enjoying the temple grounds and the view, officers fired a single shot, striking and killing this individual," Starks said.

He said the man's vehicle, which was parked nearby, contained other guns, swords and ammunition. The man's identity has not been released and the incident remains under investigation by various agencies, as is typical for an officer-involved shooting.

"I can only guess it would be very heart-wrenching circumstances, not only for the officer but for the individual's family as well," Starks said.

The officer who fired the fatal shot has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

"What a tough day to have this happen, for anybody and everybody to have to remember and look back on this particular day, this particular Christmas Day," Starks said.

LDS Church officials declined to comment, citing the ongoing police investigation. The Oquirrh Mountain Temple sits on about 11 acres; construction of the building, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was completed in August 2009.

e-mail: wleonard@desnews.com