TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — A woman who witnessed a standoff in Taylorsville shared what she saw and events leading up to the incident that resulted in the death of one suspect and injuries for two police officers.
On Wednesday night, a 7-Eleven at 4100 South and Redwood Road turned into the scene of a fatal shooting following a confrontation between police and 20-year-old Anei Gabriel Joker. Joker was wanted in connection to charges of rape and robbery and was holding an infant while sitting in a vehicle. Once he released the baby to officers, Joker began firing at officers, striking two. As many as ten officers returned fire and Joker died after being transported to the hospital.
Nyree Hicks was there the night of the shooting and watched it all. She drove to the 7/11 with Joker, and it was her car that he refused to get out of during the standoff with police.
Hicks told FOX 13 News that hours before the shooting, Joker was hanging out in her living room playing with her six sons.
“It was the best last memories I had,” she said.
Hicks said she, Joker, three friends and her friend’s baby piled into Hicks’ SUV and drove to the 7/11 to pick up snacks for Hicks’ kids. Joker stayed in the car with the baby while the four others went inside.
“I came outside and that’s when I saw everybody surrounded by my car. They already had their guns out, the dogs are already barking,” she said. “I’m lost, I’m like, ‘What is going on?’”
That’s when officers told her Joker was wanted on charges of rape and robbery.
“I was just lost for words,” Hicks said.
Officers were there to arrest him, but he refused to get out of the SUV with the nine-month-old baby, who Hicks said he was trying to comfort.
“My main concern was the baby in the car,” she said. “But I knew he’s not going to hurt the baby.”
Hicks said during the standoff, Joker asked to talk to her and his brother.
“All I wanted to do was talk to him,” she said. “I’m sure if they would have just let me talk to him I could have got him out of the car, but they didn’t.”
She said officers told her they were concerned for her safety.
She’s spent the day replaying the night in her head, wondering what could have been done to have a different outcome.
“I just feel like if they would have just gave us a chance, the cops would never have gotten shot. None of this would have ever happened,” she said.