Police: Man held 4 people hostage at gunpoint in 2 incidents in Tooele County

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Posted at 4:01 PM, Aug 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-28 18:01:27-04

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah — A man was arrested Saturday after allegedly forcing a woman at gunpoint to drive him to a residence, where he then went inside and held three people hostage.

According to the Tooele County Sheriff's Office, 58-year-old Sammy Eugene Woodroe Blackbear demanded that the woman drive him to Grantsville or he would shoot her. While she drove with him on State Route 196 in or near the Skull Valley Indian Reservation (about 15 miles north of Dugway), Blackbear allegedly fired his handgun out the window twice. At one point, according to court documents, Blackbear held the gun to the woman's leg and said: "I'll shoot your foot off if you don't keep driving."

Blackbear had the driver stop at a residence in an unspecified area of Tooele County, where he got out and went inside with two people who approached him. The driver then left.

Police say Blackbear then told the three residents at the home to lock the door once he was inside, and he continued to hold the gun and placed his finger on the trigger multiple times. It was not stated in the arrest report whether he verbally threatened these victims, but police arrived with a hostage negotiator who was able to convince him to come out and surrender.

There was no motive for Blackbear's alleged actions specified in the court documents, nor his relationship with any of the four victims.

He was arrested on four counts of aggravated kidnapping, one count of aggravated assault, two counts of illegally discharging a firearm, and two counts of possessing a firearm by a restricted person (all felonies). The arresting officers said his criminal history showed he was convicted of a felony in 1985 and was therefore not allowed to have a gun.

He is being held without bail.