Armed man shot at West Valley City Police Department

Posted at 8:36 AM, Apr 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-04-30 01:43:55-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah -- The lobby of the West Valley City Police Department building was riddled with bullets Monday morning after cops say a registered sex offender pulled a gun.

Police say in December 2012, 39-year-old James Kammeyer told West Valley City police he wanted to die by suicide by cop.

It's unclear if that's what motivated Monday's incident, but police say after pulling into the parking lot on his motorcycle and walking into the lobby, Kammeyer made it clear he wanted to talk with a desk officer face-to-face, not through protective glass.

"He was the only one in the building at the time and confronted our desk officer asking him to speak to him inside the lobby," said West Valley City Police Sgt. Jason Hauer.

The cop agreed but proceeded cautiously, police say, noticing the suspect was acting suspiciously.

"The officer who was behind the glass did an excellent job of reading the suspect, seeing there wasn't something right," said acting West Valley City Police Chief Anita Schwemmer.

When the officer asked Kammeyer to remove his hands from his pockets, police say the suspect pulled a handgun and pointed it at the officer and a records clerk.

According to a probable cause statement, the officer, "fearing for his life, retreated into the secure glass enclosure for his safety" and then called for back-up.

Police say when other officers arrived, one of them fired multiple shots, hitting Kammeyer twice in his right arm.

Passengers on a UTA train parked next to the police station hit the floor when they heard gunfire.

"We heard firecrackers and puffs of smoke and I jumped into the blond lady's seat in front of me," said passenger Bonnie Barkhimer.

"This lady right here jumped over my seat and we just started screaming, we didn't know what to do," said passenger Amber Samuels.

"It is frightening for all of us, even trained officers and again, we immediately put our safety plan into effect," Schwemmer said.

No one was hurt except the suspect, who's been released from Pioneer Valley Hospital and booked into Salt Lake County Jail on at least five charges, including attempted murder to making terrorist threats.

"They attempted to speak to him, he has invoked his Miranda privilege and isn't offering any statement," Hauer said.

Related story:
Suspect shot at WVC PD has criminal history