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Cedar City officers shoot suspect wearing body armor, wielding ‘battle ax’

Posted at 10:52 AM, Dec 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-25 13:00:58-05

CEDAR CITY, Utah – Cedar City Police shot a suspect who was wearing body armor after he threatened officers with a “battle ax” early Christmas morning.

Late Christmas Eve, officers were called to a home on the 1800 W. block of Clark Parkway in Cedar City about a man who threatened to harm himself in a home where children were present.

Iron County deputies and the SWAT team were called in when the suspect, 38-year-old  Benjamin Dee Wilcken, barricaded himself in the garage.

Authorities said Wilcken threatened officers and nearby residents with the detonation of explosives.

Law enforcement evacuated surrounding homes as a precaution.

Officers searched for explosives and gave the all-clear after none were found.

Authorities negotiated with Wilcken for nearly two hours.

He failed to comply with officers and threatened them with a weapon he referred to as a “battle ax.”

Two officers tried to subdue Wilcken with Tasers and were unsuccessful.

A third officer shot Wilcken when he ran back into the garage.

Officers tried to negotiate with Wilcken for several more hours before he surrendered.

Wilcken was wearing “military-style body armor” when the officer shot him and was not seriously injured.

Authorities said Wilcken suffered a few self-inflicted injuries that were not life-threatening.

Wilcken was treated at the hospital and released to the Cedar City Police Dept.

He has been booked into the Iron County Jail for aggravated assault again law enforcement, making terroristic threats, disorderly conduct and intoxication.

The Iron/Beaver/Garfield Critical Incident Task Force is investigating this incident.