Pubdate: Mon, 09 Jan 2012
Source: Deseret News (Salt Lake City, UT)
Copyright: 2012 Deseret News Publishing Corp.
Author: Pat Reavy, Deseret News


Photo Found Of Suspected Shooter Dressed As Terrorist

OGDEN - Weber County Attorney Dee Smith doesn't know when Matthew 
Stewart will be transferred from the hospital to jail. But he is 
prepared to file charges when he is - and he will seek the death penalty.

Smith said Stewart, accused of shooting and killing Ogden police 
officer Jared Francom and wounding five other officers, will likely 
face charges of capital murder, eight counts of attempted aggravated 
murder and cultivation of marijuana.

There were more officers affected than just those who were shot, 
Smith said during a news conference Monday.

"There were victims in this who weren't physically wounded by a 
bullet," he said.

Because the case is still an active investigation, the prosecutor 
said there are many details he cannot yet reveal about what happened 
at Stewart's house, 3268 Jackson Ave., on the night of Jan. 5 when 
members of the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force served a search warrant.

But despite rumors, Smith said he has seen no evidence to suggest any 
of the six officers were shot by "friendly fire" or by fellow officers.

"A number of individuals were wounded as they were giving aid and 
trying to remove fallen officers from the scene," Smith said.

Smith also confirmed that a "suspicious device" was found in a closet 
in the house on Saturday. Because of "its appearance and other 
components located nearby," a local bomb squad was called and 
detonated the device inside the house.

"There was a fear it would explode," he said. "There was a device 
that was fashioned in a way that concerned those that dealt with it. 
There were components and materials that caused a great deal of concern."

Whether it could actually be classified as a "bomb," Smith couldn't 
say. Nearby residents were evacuated as crews detonated the device.

Also Monday, Smith confirmed that a photograph of Stewart was found 
inside his home in which he looks like a terrorist.

"It appears to be a recent photo, based on his current beard size, 
and it depicted an individual dressed as a terrorist with some kind 
of bomb device," the county attorney said.

He declined, however, to speculate on any possible motive for the shootings.

Smith said there was no video taken of the officers actually entering 
the home, but there is video available of the crime scene from the 
dash-cams of patrol vehicles and other officers who arrived after the 
initial shooting. His office is examining those videos.

Stewart's home is riddled with bullets. While the exact number of 
shots fired is still under investigation, about 100 bullet holes were 
visible Monday in a neighbor's house, a fence and Stewart's shed.

Smith also said there was no information to suggest that anything 
more than a knock-and-announce warrant was needed in this case. 
Members of the strike force first knocked on the door and identified 
themselves "numerous times" before entering.

"They certainly made their presence known and who they were known," he said.

A no-knock warrant, in which officers simply break into a home 
unannounced, would likely not have been granted in this case, Smith 
said. "If they were expecting to find weapons, it would have been a 
different warrant and a different approach."

Officers had tried to search Stewart's home on several occasions 
prior to Jan. 5, but no one was ever home. The warrant they were 
serving was only a search warrant, not an arrest warrant.

"They had made a number of attempts to go to that house to make 
contact to make it as low-key as possible," Smith said.

Stewart's condition remained unknown Monday. Smith said he is 
prepared to file charges once he's booked into jail, but he would not 
speculate when that may be.

Smith described the crime scene as "massive."

"This is a very significant event. ... I don't know if the state has 
ever experienced something of this magnitude," he said. "This is a 
massive investigation. There were a lot of shots fired. There were a 
lot of victims. There were a lot of police officers who responded 
from a number of agencies."

Interim Ogden Police Chief Wayne Tarwater met with the families of 
the three police officers who remained hospitalized Monday. Two 
officers, Michael Rounkles and Shawn Grogan, remained hospitalized 
Monday in fair condition at McKay-Dee Hospital Center. Kasey Burrell 
remained in critical condition. Weber County Sheriff's Sgt. Nate 
Hutchinson and Roy police officer Jason VanderWarf have since been 
released from the hospital.

The funeral for Francom will be held Wednesday at 11 a.m. Ogden's Dee 
Events Center.

In 2011, the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force served 111 search 
warrants, seized 34 pounds of methamphetamine, 6,600 marijuana plants 
and 124 illegally possessed firearms.
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