ROY — A 45-year-old man was shot and killed by police Thursday night as officers attempted to serve a warrant on a suspected drug house.
Officers for the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force entered the house, 5933 S. 2600 West, just after 10 p.m. The first officer through the door was confronted by a man carrying a golf club.
"That suspect had a club, had it raised above his head, went towards the officer in an attacking motion," said Roy Police Chief Greg Whinham.
Fearing that either he or his colleagues were in imminent danger, the officer fired, fatally striking the man.
"Had the officer not made a decision and taken action at that moment that he did, there would have been grave results," the chief said.
Neighbors reported hearing multiple shots coming from the house.
The Weber County Attorney's Office announced Friday that the officer fired three shots, fatally injuring Todd E. Blair, the person who lived at the home and the subject of the search warrant.
Utah state court records indicate that Blair has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 1989, including several drug-related convictions. The last court listing for Blair was in 2007, when a protective order was issued against him for alleged cohabitant abuse, according to court records.
The search warrant Friday was for a residence that neighbors and police said had developed a reputation as a drug house. The warrant outlined "serious drugs" possibly being in the house, including heroin and methamphetamine, Whinham said.
Officers had been keeping surveillance on the house for several weeks and most of Thursday, Whinham said.
In addition to drug activity, police have been called to the residence on minor domestic issues in the past, he said.
Officers from several agencies, including the Weber County Crime Scene Investigation Unit, Roy police and Weber-Morgan County Homicide Task Force, assisted with the crime scene Thursday night.
Several residents said the entire neighborhood had a bad reputation.
"We're glad we're moving away. It's a bad neighborhood," said Brody Craven, who lives a block away.
"It's scary to think that kind of stuff happens around here," said Samantha Markos, another neighbor.
Brandi Hamblin said she's seen police watching the home for the past few weeks.
"We've been suspecting that for a long time, that things were going on there that shouldn't be, you know, drugs," she said. "We've seen a lot of people drive up quickly and leave fast, things like that. And there are always lots of cars at that house."
"We kind of knew what was going on over there in the first place because of all the traffic that was going through there," added neighbor Tyler Petersen.
Whinham said if he had been faced with the same circumstances, he would have fired, too.
"If you take whatever the club might be, the mechanism — golf club, pipe, ax handle — it doesn't matter to me," he said. "The fact is, what can be the result, and in this case the result could have caused a lot of serious injury and potentially death to that officer or others that were trying to do what we have them do in our communities."
Contributing: Shara Park, Randall Jeppesen
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com