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Man from southern Utah allegedly threatened police officers with a gun and caused them to shoot
Man from southern Utah allegedly threatened police officers with a gun and caused them to shoot

HURRICANE, Washington County – A man accused of pointing a rifle at police officers on July 4, prompting them to shoot him, is now facing additional charges.

Amended charges were filed against Thomas Lee Tirey in 5th District Court on Tuesday. The 35-year-old man is now accused of five counts of assault on an officer (second-degree felonies), four counts of aggravated assault (third-degree felonies), and reckless endangerment and threatening to use a weapon in a fight (class A misdemeanors).

On July 4, Hurricane police were called to a residence where Tirey allegedly held a gun to his head, according to a police affidavit.

“When officers arrived and encountered Thomas, he was holding a rifle lower toward his hip and a pistol still to his head. Attempts were made to negotiate with him shortly after officers arrived and he told negotiators that he would not give up without a fight. After numerous attempts to negotiate, Thomas pointed his long rifle at five officers who were on the scene. Officers then fired shots, but the suspect was not hit and retreated into his home where he barricaded himself,” a police affidavit states.

During the ensuing standoff, police learned that Tirey also pointed or waved the gun at his neighbors, according to the affidavit.

As officers continued to speak with Tirey, “he made it clear that he would not surrender without violence. Officers were able to see Thomas inside the home, where he was holding a high-powered rifle and a pistol. It was reported that Thomas had multiple firearms in the home, including automatic and armor-piercing ammunition,” the affidavit states.

After several hours, however, a negotiator managed to persuade Tirey to surrender and he was arrested without further incident. Hurricane police said Wednesday they were grateful that a peaceful resolution had been reached.

No one was injured in the incident. How many police officers fired weapons and how many shots were fired will be part of the Washington County District Attorney’s Office’s investigation.

By Isla