Magna shooting suspect arrested after taking 99-year-old hostage in SWAT standoff

Posted at 7:07 AM, Feb 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-24 18:01:32-05

WEST VALLEY CITY – A 18-year-old man is in jail after an overnight chase turned into a hostage situation in a West Valley home early Saturday morning.

Unified Police say they tracked down Freddy Alexander Velasquez as a suspect in a Magna shooting, but when the Metro Gang Unit approached they say he held a gun to his head and ran to a nearby house at 2200 West and 3500 South.

Freddy Alexander Velasquez

The suspect shot out the back window and entered the home before police say he entered and began the stand-off just before midnight.

All residents inside the home managed to escape except for a 99-year-old woman. Unified Police say they had to negotiate with the suspect for her release.

The elderly woman was safely removed from the home around 3 a.m.

SWAT teams, Unified Police and West Valley City police negotiated with the suspect for several more hours before they say they were able to safely enter the home and take him into custody around 5:30 a.m.

“We wanted to get him into custody without him getting hurt,” said Brian Lohrke with the Unified Police Department. “Especially situations like this we use time on our side. Unfortunately, for us being outside the cold weather, of course, is a factor. But life is most important in this situation. We were able to get him into custody.”

Velasquez was transported to jail by officers.

No information has been released so far regarding charges or future court appearances.