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First responders prevent Utah man from taking own life; Officer cut by knife in the process

File photo: Crime scene, police line tape
Posted at 10:07 PM, May 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 00:44:00-04

EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah — When a man was trying to kill himself Sunday in Eagle Mountain, first responders sprung into action to prevent a tragic outcome.

In the process, one police officer was cut, but he is expected to survive after receiving medical treatment.

According to Sgt. Spencer Cannon with the Utah County Sheriff's Office, police initially responded to the home near Terrace Lane (7250 North) and Silver Creek Way (4490 East) around 11 a.m. on a report of a medical issue involving carbon monoxide.

When they arrived, they found a man attempting to kill himself. Cannon said he had a knife and had already used it on himself, causing "fairly severe" injuries. He had not threatened anyone or used the weapon on anyone else, however.

Still, Cannon said officers wanted to prevent him from taking his own life.

"It's not against the law to want to hurt yourself, [but] obviously nobody wants that to happen," he said. "While there was nobody else who was threatened by his actions, we couldn't just let him continue this on his own given the nature of his injuries."

The man then went inside the house and locked himself in a bedroom, still holding the knife.

Cannon said police tried to get into the room, and ultimately were able to do so after firefighters helped to remove a door.

They disarmed the man and took him into custody. In the process of taking the knife away, one Saratoga Springs Police officer was cut — a "serious laceration" to one of his fingers.

The man was flown to a hospital via LifeFlight due to the seriousness of his injuries. The police officer was taken to a hospital by ambulance for treatment.

Neither of their injuries are considered life-threatening.

Cannon said the situation could have ended a lot worse, and he expressed hope for the suicidal man to get better physically, mentally and emotionally.

"We're hopeful that this intervention here can help him get some resources... to help him to see things a little bit more clearly and take one step at a time to work his way through them, rather than trying to take this way out," he said.

Victims' advocates will work with the man and his family to find resources.

READ: Utah mental health services to get boost under new laws

Cannon added that while he doesn't know exactly what the man was going through, his past experiences as a law enforcement officer have taught him that there is always a solution — it's just difficult to see sometimes.

"People who are in this emotional crisis, they don't want to die. They just want a solution to their problem," he said. "Whatever it might be, those kinds of things are almost always temporary and you can find a solution to them down the road."

"It may not be right now," he continued, "but sometimes it's hard to look beyond your face that much to where those solutions might be and how long it might take to reach them."

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
If you or someone else is in immediate danger or in an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.