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Man accused of setting apartment on fire, carrying loaded gun towards marathon

Posted at 7:21 PM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 22:58:13-04

OGDEN, Utah — Police in Ogden said they arrested a man who lit his own apartment on fire on Saturday and then started running toward the Ogden Marathon with a loaded shotgun.

Richard Gallegos lived at the Sun Chase Apartments in Ogden.

It’s difficult to see any damage from the outside of the apartment, aside from a broken window. An eviction notice for Gallegos is posted on the front door.

Police said he jumped out of the window and threatened a woman with the gun, demanding her keys, before he ran towards the Ogden Marathon route on Washington Boulevard.

Jenny Scothern, the executive director of GOAL Foundation which oversees the marathon, said Gallegos did not get very far.

Security is always very tight, she said, especially since the Boston Marathon.

“(Officers) handled it quickly and efficiently and quietly,” Scothern said. “You know, these are highly trained professionals; you wouldn’t want to cause mass panic for a situation that was very under control.”

Neighbors, who asked to remain anonymous, said they heard a gunshot and smelt smoke coming from Gallegos’ apartment.

They described Gallegos as a “normal” and “respectful” man, with kids and a steady job.

“We’ve watched his kids grow up,” one woman said. “It’s a really sad situation for him because now his whole reputation, everything, is going to be looked at a little bit differently, and that’s not who he is.”

Police said when they asked Gallegos how the apartment caught fire, he had a few stories, blaming “a person throwing a Molotov (cocktail).”

Neighbors said they’re still not sure what may have caused Gallegos to do this.

Gallegos has never been arrested for a crime in the state of Utah.

If you have any information about this case, please call the Ogden Police Department.