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Man accused of firing rifle at officer while suspect's young son was feet away

A Draper officer recalled his K-9 and did not open fire due to the proximity of the boy
Mug shot: Richard Grant Lees
Posted at 12:35 PM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 14:35:18-04

DRAPER, Utah — Draper Police arrested a man Sunday after he allegedly used an AR-15 to fire several rounds, including one in the direction of a police officer, while his 9-year-old son was close by.

A K-9 officer responded to a home near 1500 E Tumbleweed Way around 1:30 a.m. after receiving a report of a possible home invasion with shots fired.

According to a probable cause statement, the officer saw 49-year-old Richard Grant Lees outside the home. Lees waved the officer toward the next house, and the officer drove past Lees, believing Lees was pointing him in the direction of the shots being fired, the statement said.

The officer didn't see any people or evidence of shots fired at the next house, so he parked about two houses north of Lees' residence, heeled the K-9 and approached Lees, the statement said.

"As I approached the residence I saw [Lees] pointing a weapon, which appeared to be an AR-15 into his garage. I identified myself as a Draper Police Officer and was [clearly] dressed in my police uniform," the officer wrote in the statement.

The officer commanded Lees to drop the weapon, and Lees "stated they are in the house with weapons," the statement said.

The officer once again commanded Lees to drop the weapon, but Lees turned and pointed the gun toward the officer and appeared to aim at him," the statement said.

"I again commanded [Lees] to drop the weapon as I pointed my duty weapon at [Lees]," the officer wrote. "I then saw a bright fire exit the muzzle of the weapon, also known as a muzzle blast, from firing a round, at me."

The officer ducked for cover and recalled the K-9, knowing the young boy was about five feet from Lees, the statement said.

Lees and the boy then across the street to a neighbor's house, where they boy went inside, and Lees remained in the front yard, the statement said.

"I continued to command [Lees] to drop the weapon, which he finally did near the roadway of the neighbors yard," the officer wrote. "I commanded [Lees] to get on his belly, which he did."

The officer picked up the gun and removed the magazine, which was loaded with .223 rounds, the statement said. The officer wrote that he also pulled the lever back and a round ejected from the port.

The officer placed Lees in handcuffs, and Lees stated he could see someone exiting the garage, but no one was there, the statement said.

Officers from around the valley searched Lees home and found no one else, police did notice several bullet holes in Lees' vehicle and several broken windows," the statement said.

Lees' ex-wife told police that Lees has a history of methamphetamine use, and that he hallucinates and gets paranoid while under the influence of the drug, the statement said.

Lees faces felony charges of aggravated murder, aggravated assault targeting law enforcement, endangerment of a child and discharge of a firearm.

He also faces misdemeanor charges of intoxication and failure to stop at the command of a law enforcement officer.

No one was injured during the encounter.