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Police identify man shot and killed by police in Kearns after threatening grandson, shooting at officers

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Posted at 9:51 PM, Feb 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-09 19:52:27-05

KEARNS, Utah — A man was shot and killed in Kearns Saturday after police say he threatened his grandson with a gun and shot at officers when they responded.

Tuesday afternoon, the Unified Police Department identified the victim as 60-year-old Dennis Denham of Kearns.

UPD officer responded to a home near Copper City Drive and China Clay Drive, approximately 5900 West and 5700 South, just before 8 p.m. on a domestic violence call.

The man had pointed the gun at his 15-year-old grandson's head and threatened to kill him, Sgt. Melody Cutler said.

When officers arrived, two gunshots came from the house. The man's wife, who had called the police to report the incident, was able to safely escape to a neighbor's house along with the 15-year-old and the couple's three other grandchildren who live with them.

The suspect then barricaded himself inside, and SWAT and negotiation teams were called in. Neighbors were also told to shelter in place.

When SWAT arrived, the man exited the house, yelled at officers, then fired shots at them. Police returned fire, and he was shot and killed.

One UPD officer and two West Valley City Police officers were involved. They are on leave as an outside agency conducts an investigation per officer-involved critical incident protocol.

It was unknown as of Saturday night what led to the man threatening his teenage grandson.

No officers were injured, nor were any of the man's family members.