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Man dead, Murray officer narrowly escapes injury in standoff

SHARE Man dead, Murray officer narrowly escapes injury in standoff

MURRAY — A man was found dead inside a Murray house early Monday after a nearly six-hour standoff, and a Murray police officer was lucky to escape injury after being shot in his holster.

"Extremely lucky," said Murray police detective Kenny Bass. "You're just a few inches away from being hit in an area where there's a major artery."

The incident began about 8:15 p.m. Sunday at 584 W. Winchester St. (6400 South) when a man went to his ex-girlfriend's house. Bass said the man and the woman who lived in the house had broken up a few weeks ago.

"She hadn't heard from him, and then he started some kind of little contact," Bass said.

Sunday night, the man showed up at her house and started banging on the doors. "They can tell he's trying to force his way in. Then they hear a window break," the detective said.

After hearing glass breaking, the woman and a female friend who was with her ran out of the house and called 911, according to Bass.

Two Murray officers who were close by arrived at the scene. One of the officers could see the man through the open garage door. The officer reportedly called out to him and the man fired a handgun, Bass said.

It was unknown Monday how many times the man fired. But one of the shots either hit or grazed the officer's holster. The officer then returned fire as the man ran into the house.

Bass said Monday it was not immediately known how many shots the officer fired or if he actually hit the suspect.

A SWAT team was called to surround the house and block off streets. Over the next several hours, police tried to make contact several different ways with the man, but he never responded.

About 2 a.m. Monday, the SWAT team fired pepper spray through all the windows. After filling the house and still not seeing or hearing any movement inside, Brass said the SWAT team entered the residence.

That's when they found Tyler O. Persellin, 29, of Midvale, dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, said Unified police officer Ken Hansen. His agency is handling the officer-involved shooting portion of the investigation.

On Persellin's Facebook page, his last post was Friday, at which time he seems inspired to turn his life around.

"I've had a very interesting life. One day I'll write a book but it's not over yet. The last year has been rough. But now that I'm free of all that negativity and meeting kind hearted and beautiful people that push me to do better, it's like I get to start again," the post states. "This year is going to be big. I'm going to start competing in bodybuilding, get my finances fixed, and go back to school. I'm going to roll with the punches and keep working to better my life. It's huge that I have this feeling back."

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam