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Ogden standoff ends with suspect in hospital


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OGDEN — A nightlong standoff between Ogden police and an armed man who had taken a woman hostage ended about 10 a.m. Saturday after SWAT officers forced their way into a motel room.

"The SWAT team conducted an explosive breach to the room at which point the suspect fired at officers," said Ogden Police Lt. Troy Burnett. "He then suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest."

The man, identified at Jason Valdez, 36, of Ogden was then transported to McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden, where he remains in critical but stable condition. No officers or others were injured during the 17-hour ordeal.

When police forced entry into the room, Valdez had barricaded himself into "another area of the room," and shot himself in the chest, Burnett said. Valdez then continued resisting arrest for about another 15 minutes by refusing to comply with police commands despite his chest wound, Burnett added.

The woman was not harmed and was being interviewed by police, but her identity has not been released. Valdez also allegedly fired shots at officers several times throughout the night from the motel room.

The woman was an acquaintance of Valdez, but the exact nature of their relationship was not known, Burnett said. The standoff began at 5:17 p.m. Friday when Ogden police saw Valdez and recognized him as wanted on a no-bail, second-degree felony warrant on drug possession.

When officers spotted Valdez, he fled into Room 11 at the West Colony Inn, 234 24th St. Officers called the room, and according to police spokesman Eric Young, Valdez told them: "No, I'm not coming out; you're not taking me voluntarily. If you try and come take me, you're going to have a fight on your hands."

The police then set up a perimeter around the motel and evacuated the occupants, including at least one family with children who were led out by police escort, according to the motel owner, Shawn Soltani.

He told KSL-TV Friday evening that the man and woman had been staying there for about 10 days. "He was a quiet guy and he paid me at the time," Soltani said.

Burnett said Valdez's last two known addresses were motel rooms in Ogden. Valdez is known to be a member of a multi- state gang and has previously been in jail, Burnett added. Young said Valdez could now face a "whole gamut of charges," including kidnapping and interfering with arrest. The police spoke with the suspect by phone "pretty regularly" through the night, Young said.

Throughout the standoff, friends and family members apparently kept up a steady dialogue with Valdez via his Facebook account.

One posting about 8 a.m. Saturday, apparently when the SWAT team was forcing entry, said, "Well i was lettin this girl go but these dumb (expletive) made an attempt to come in after i told them not to, so i popped off a couple more shots and now were startin all over again it seems....."

Another posting about 9 a.m. by a friend said, "Hey jason. im praying for u. i hope u make the right decision. god is wit u. listen to him. much love."

Story written by Ladd Brubaker with contributions from Benjamin Wood and Sarah Dallof.

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Ladd Brubaker

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