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Report describes last moments of slain Ogden officer’s life

Officer Nate Lyday to be laid to rest Saturday

SHARE Report describes last moments of slain Ogden officer’s life
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Ogden Police Chief Randy Watt stands in front of the patrol car of fallen Ogden police officer Nathan Lyday as a procession carries his body past the Francom Public Safety Center in Ogden on Friday, May 29, 2020. Lyday was shot and killed Thursday while responding to a domestic violence call.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

OGDEN — The funeral for a hometown Ogden police officer killed in the line of duty will be held Saturday on what would have been his fifth wedding anniversary.

Officer Nate Lyday’s family called for global hatred and unrest to be replaced by forgiveness and love on the same day that the Weber County Attorney’s Office released a summary describing what happened in the last moments of Lyday’s life.

Lyday was shot after responding to a 911 callfrom a woman who said that her husband, John Coleman, was trying to kill her.

Body cameras worn by Lyday and another officer who responded with him “captured the entire encounter,” according to the county attorney’s summary of its review of the case.

Lyday was standing on the front porch with another officer talking to Coleman, who was inside the house behind a glass storm door.

“A brief conversation took place in which Coleman was uncooperative and confrontational with officer Lyday and the other Ogden City police officer. The video shows that both officers remained calm and professional,” the summary says.

Two agents from Adult Probation and Parole who were in the area and heard the original dispatch call also arrived at the house to assist.

“Coleman continued to be confrontational with officer Lyday and refused to open the storm door. Eventually Coleman stepped back inside and shut the interior door,” according to the county attorney’s office.

As Lyday turned away to talk to the other officers about how to proceed next, “Coleman opened the interior door partway. Coleman was carrying a rifle, and he immediately fired on officer Lyday through the glass storm door. Officer Lyday had a notebook and pen in his hands and had no opportunity to react when Coleman started firing. Officer Lyday was struck in the head and killed instantly,” according to the summary.

The other Ogden officer returned fire “as Coleman continued to fire rounds out the front of the residence toward the officer and police vehicles that were parked in the street.”

The two agents also returned fire.

“One of the AP&P agents was struck by a bullet as he attempted to rescue officer Lyday who had collapsed at the bottom of the front steps. After this exchange of gunfire, the shooting ceased. The AP&P agent who was wounded was dragged out of the scene by his fellow agent,” the summary says.

SWAT team members entered Coleman’s house about 40 minutes later and found “several firearms and ammunition were located that were readily accessible to Coleman and apparently placed strategically for a protracted shootout with law enforcement.”

Coleman, who was found dead inside the residence, was killed in the shootout with police.

Funeral plans

Ogden police on Wednesday released the funeral plans for Lyday, 24, who was shot and killed on May 28.

Lyday’s funeral will be at 11 a.m. at Lindquist Field, 2330 Lincoln Ave. Following the service, a procession will take Lyday’s casket to Lindquist’s Memorial Gardens of the Wasatch, 1718 Combe Road, where Lyday’s graveside service will include full police honors, including an honor guard ceremony, flyover and final radio call.

Due to continued concerns over large gatherings and the spread of COVID-19, Ogden police say there will be limited seating for the public. Members of the public are encouraged, however, to line the streets from Lindquist Field to the cemetery and attend a candlelight vigil scheduled for Thursday at 9 p.m.

“It is expected that the rolling vigil will last about one hour as it travels through the city, slowing at various locations which are important to officer Lyday and his family,” Ogden police said in a statement. “The rolling vigil will include a small procession of OPD motors and police vehicles, officer Lyday’s family and officer Lyday’s police vehicle, which will be memorialized and carried on a flatbed trailer.”

The vigil will go along Custer Avenue, past McKay-Dee Hospital, Bonneville High School and the Ogden Municipal Building before ending at 2300 Lincoln Ave.

Ogden Police Lt. Brian Eynon said the invitation for police officers from departments across the nation was extended to attend the funeral, a tradition for fallen officer funerals. In light of concerns over COVID-19 and nationwide protests, he wasn’t sure Wednesday how many will be able to attend.

Also on Wednesday, the Ogden Police Department posted a message on its Facebook page on behalf of the Lyday family.

“Our family is truly humbled by the love and support we are receiving at a time of terrible loss that has happened, not only for us, but the whole community. Strangers become friends as they show tender kindness towards us. We feel your love wrapped around us carrying us through this tragedy. We see the beautiful flowers and thoughtful gifts left at Nate’s squad car and tears flow freely as we read your notes of love and support.”

The family also thanked all of the “courageous” officers who work and make sacrifices every day.

“Globally, hatred and unrest ring out ever so loudly. Let us all replace those feelings with forgiveness and love. May we all find peace. ... Let us unite together to make this world a better place. ... Let love replace hatred.”

Lee tribute

Lyday, who had been with Ogden police for just 15 months, was a second-generation officer and was born, raised and educated in Ogden. He and his wife, Ashley, were to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary on Saturday.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, spoke Wednesday about the deaths of Lyday and George Floyd in Minnesota.

“One tragedy is tearing our communities apart, the other may well help show us a path back toward unity,” he said.

Lee said both Lyday and Floyd should be honored and remembered. “Nate Lyday’s loss is our loss. George Floyd’s loss is our loss,” he said.

Both deaths show how far the country has to go to uphold justice for all, Lee said, adding it is work that must be undertaken by everyone.

“But we cannot do that by pitting ourselves against one another, race versus race, police versus protester,” he said. “We will never move forward if we continue to reduce human beings to the color of their skin or the color of their uniform.”

Contributing: Dennis Romboy