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Man who may have shot at police helicopter remains hospitalized

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NORTH SALT LAKE — A man who police say barricaded himself inside his car and fired at least four rounds from a shotgun remained hospitalized in stable condition Monday.

What remained unclear Monday was whether the man shot at a Department of Public Safety helicopter.

Brian Skidmore, 50, was arrested Sunday night after a nearly five-hour standoff with police.

Investigators say Skidmore was suicidal and crashed his car at the Irvine Duck Hunting Club, near 6100 W. John Glenn Drive in unincorporated Davis County, before barricading himself inside the vehicle.

Skidmore allegedly fired once at a person on an ATV, investigators said. Originally, the sheriff's office believed he also fired at a DPS helicopter. Monday, however, a DPS spokesman said that wasn't the case, prompting Davis County to release an updated statement.

"It is absolutely unclear whether or not the subject fired directly at helicopter or was just firing his weapon during the time air support was near him," the sheriff's office said in in a prepared statement. "DPS authorities confirmed the pilot was at a very safe distance and never felt threatened."

Whether or not Skidmore was firing at random was unknown Monday.

A SWAT team surrounded Skidmore's vehicle, and after several hours of failing to negotiate his surrender, launched tear gas into the vehicle. When Skidmore still didn't come out, a police K-9 was sent inside the car, according to the sheriff's office. Officers soon discovered that Skidmore had three self-inflicted gunshot wounds.

Skidmore was taken to a local hospital where deputy Scott Harper said he was in stable condition Monday "under tight security."

The incident began about 4:30 p.m. Sunday when North Salt Lake police went to check on Skidmore after family members reported that he might be "distraught."

Police were not able to find him at his home, but they tracked him though his cellphone to the industrial area of Salt Lake City. An airport police officer spotted the man sitting in a black Honda Acura, armed with a shotgun, Harper said.

Skidmore drove off, however, when the officer approached. Airport police blocked the roads in the area to keep him from escaping.

Law enforcement agencies from Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake City International Airport, North Salt Lake, Salt Lake County and Davis County, as well as the Utah Department of Public Safety, all responded to the shooting.

Earlier this year, Skidmore took a plea in abeyance to a charge of misdemeanor assault, pleading guilty to that charge in exchange for charges of intoxication and having an open container in a vehicle dismissed, according to Utah court records.

Contributing: Sandra Yi


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