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Officers continue to investigate standoff in West Valley City

Posted at 1:37 PM, Nov 15, 2021

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — An investigation is ongoing in West Valley City after an incident Friday where police were called to the area of 3300 South following reports of a man with a gun.

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Crime scene tape is still up, and West Valley City police officers could be seen going in and out of the house Monday where the standoff occurred.

FOX 13 was told the standoff began as a domestic violence incident.

According to a probable cause affidavit, the victim alleges she had been held hostage since Nov. 1 by 50-year-old Garmin Cunningham.

The victim told police that Cunningham subjected her to various abuse, including putting a gun to her head, cutting her with glass and a knife, and forcing her to drink WD-40.

The victim also reports she saw Cunningham murder an unidentified female and dispose of the body in an undisclosed area.

Cunningham threw objects and fired a single shot at officers as they tried to get him to come out of the house. Police say he eventually came out while armed with a sword.

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Police said less than lethal force was used to get Cunningham to drop the weapon before he tried to flee. A K-9 was sent after him, where he continued to put up a fight with officers until being handcuffed.

"It was scary," said neighbor Amber Schierbaum. "You’re half asleep and you’re woken up to that and it’s a little disconcerting like what’s going on. We just didn’t know. We didn’t know what was going on but we assumed it was a hostage situation. With the amount of police presence and the swat team that was here."

Another neighbor said Cunningham was an overall friendly person and never expected what happened to have occurred in a quiet neighborhood.

Cunningham is being held without bail and faces multiple charges, including aggravated kidnapping and assault against a police officer.