Man killed after firing shot in direction of police, officers return fire

Posted at 10:15 PM, Jul 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-26 19:59:43-04

MILLCREEK, Utah – Police officials said a man who pointed a weapon in the direction of police officers Friday night and fired at least one round was killed as police returned fire.

The incident started with a call regarding domestic violence around 8:40 p.m. in the area near 360 E. 4055 South in Millcreek Township.

Lt. Justin Hoyal of the Unified Police Department said when officers responded to the home of 31-year-old Nicholas Lister the man’s wife was outside, and she told them the two had been in a verbal argument.

Dispatch officials called the suspect, but Lister refused to come outside of the home. Hoyal said officers were aware the man had access to guns, and after an officer attempted to negotiate with the man they had made the decision to back away from the situation. That’s when things escalated.

“We initially started to scale-back, we didn’t want to push this issue and escalate the situation,” Hoyal said. “However, as we were starting to do that, the suspect told our officer over the phone that he was coming out, that he had a gun. The officer told him repeatedly not to do that. However, a short time later, the suspect came out on to his balcony, pointed a gun in the direction of our officers, fired at least one round, and our officers returned fire. The suspect passed away there at the scene.”

Hoyal said they later determined the weapon the man fired was a shotgun, and he said officers also found a handgun on the man’s person. Hoyal said they don’t have much history with Lister and are still working to determine what caused him to take the actions he did.

The shooting is being investigated by police in conjunction with the District Attorney’s Office, Hoyal said. The officers involved in the shooting are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, which Hoyal said is a standard procedure in cases such as this.

Hoyal said such situations are hard on all of those involved.

“This is just a tragic situation that took place here,” Hoyal said. “This is one of those situations that… it’s very traumatic for our officers, for this suspect’s family, and it’s not one of those situations that we want to see happen.”