SOUTH JORDAN, Utah – An altercation in a South Jordan home escalated and an intoxicated man allegedly threatened to shoot himself and also pointed a weapon at his wife before police arrived, and, although a single shot was fired and the man threatened to shoot police, the suspect was eventually taken into custody without further violence.
According to a press release from South Jordan Police Department, things began at a home in the 10700 South block of Ozarks Drive when an intoxicated man, identified by police as 44-year-old Bryan Lefevre, become involved in a fight while armed with a handgun.
"During this fight the man actually produced a handgun and threatened to kill himself and held the gun to his head, when officers had arrived family members had disarmed that male but he was able to find a rifle inside his house and pointed it at his wife," said Master Officer Sam Winkler, South Jordan PD.
According to police, he commented he wanted to die rather than go to jail. The man’s wife, 41, and three children–ages 1, 10, and 20–evacuated the home safely.
Police responded just after midnight Sunday, and when officers arrived they set up a containment around the home.
"While officers were trying to contact the male inside, a single gunshot was discharged by the suspect inside the house," Winkler said. "The suspect opened the door and told officers that he had targeted them and would not hesitate in shooting them."
However, Lefevre exited the residence unarmed about 20 minutes later and surrendered to police. He was booked into the Salt Lake County Adult Detention Center and faces charges of aggravated domestic assault, domestic assault and discharging a firearm within city limits.
Winkler stated in the press release the agency’s officers were able to talk to the man and find a peaceful resolution to a situation that could have turned more violent.
“Our officers showed great restraint when encountered by this armed individual who had already discharged one round and threatened to shoot the responding officers with a high-powered rifle,” Winkler stated. “This incident could have quickly turned tragic for all involved; however, the officers involved were able to talk to the suspect and encourage him to surrender without any force needed.”
Neighbors who live nearby and heard the gunshot said they are proud police were able to resolve the issue without using their own guns.
"It was so low key, the cops didn't even have their lights on; it wasn't like anything crazy--you would hardly even know they were here if you didn't hear the gun shot," said Jordan Peevy. "They did a good job of doing that because everything is OK. I think they handled it, they handled it pretty good."
"Amazing, I'm super happy that no one got hurt, that everything seemed to work out OK; it could have gone way worse," said Leisa Smith.
The man's family issued a statement in which they said their father has dealt with struggles in recent years, and they said they appreciate the way police handled the encounter. The full statement, written by the Lefevre's daughter, is below:
My dad is my hero. He has been our rock. He has always been the strong one who lead us through our trials and in the last three years, our family has faced extreme trials. His mother had cancer 3 years ago, his wife had cancer 2 1/2 years ago, I (his daughter, McKaylee) had cancer only months ago and it's been a long battle. On top, there has been countless situations that have put him under immense pressure. No one would ever expect this from him.
We can not express how grateful we are for the responding police officers. They handled the situation better than anyone could ever imagine. They saved my father's life. We are now able to remain a family and get him the help he needs. We will be forever grateful.