Police in Magna shoot man who confronts them with metal bar

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MAGNA — A 48-year-old Magna man is in extremely critical condition after being shot twice by police during a confrontation Thursday afternoon.

Unified police officers arrived at the man's home at 2860 S. Patricia Drive about 3:30 p.m. after receiving reports that he had violated a civil stalking injunction, Sheriff Jim Winder said.

Neighbors identified the man as Louis Gregg.

The family of a 14-year-old boy who sought protection through the injunction reported the violation to police.

When officers arrived at Gregg's home, witnesses say he confronted them with a dumbbell or a "metal pipe type object." One of the officers attempted to deploy a Taser on Gregg but missed.

A second officer then fired at Gregg, striking him twice, Winder said. Gregg was taken by medical helicopter to University Hospital.

Neighbors say Gregg suffers from a mental illness but refused to take his medication.

"(When he's) on his meds, he's a nice guy," said a neighbor, who requested that he not be identified.

Within the neighborhood are strongly divided opinions about Gregg. Some said kids had been throwing rocks and fireworks at the man's house in recent days.

"That may have been what put him over the edge," one resident said.

When police arrived to talk with Gregg about the alleged violation, things quickly escalated.

Neighbor Ray Balliger saw Gregg run toward the police wielding the dumbbell and threatening them.

"He was hanging out his window, 'I'm going to kill you! I'm going to kill you! Back up!'" witness Tyler Peck told KSL.

Peck said police repeatedly warned Gregg to drop the dumbbell. "He (the policeman) said, 'Put it down, it's your last chance,'" Peck said, but Gregg did not comply.

An officer fired at least two shots and hit Gregg, who was flown to the hospital in extremely critical condition.

A search of Gregg's criminal history shows that a warrant was issued for his arrest Tuesday for failure to appear in court on an aggravated assault charge. The third-degree felony charge was filed in June.

In July 2000, Gregg was charged with attempted damage to jails, a third-degree felony. The charge was later amended to a class A misdemeanor.

A temporary civil stalking injunction against Gregg was granted in August 2009.

Police declined to provide details about the alleged violation of the civil stalking injunction. Officers were working Thursday evening to obtain a warrant to search the man's house.

Story with contributions from Ladd Brubaker, Jared Page and Sarah Dallof.


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