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WEST JORDAN — A man who died in his home following a standoff with police had threatened suicide and that he would engage in a shootout with police in the weeks leading up to the fatal confrontation.
But West Jordan police announced Friday that it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head that ultimately caused the death of Kyle Lambrose, 27.
On Wednesday, Lambrose held his three young children — a 7-year-old girl and boys, ages 4 and 3 — and his wife hostage in their home, 9493 S. Allen Hollow. When West Jordan Police Sgt. Mitch Soper attempted to rescue them through an upstairs window, the former head of the department's SWAT Team and Marine who served several tours of duty decided he needed to protect the children when he heard Lambrose coming down the hall toward their room.
"Fearing for the children, Sgt. Soper ripped off the (window) screen, stepped into the room and as he stepped into the room saw a handgun coming into the room at the doorway. As he saw that handgun, it was pointed at the children, at least that's what he perceived. So he stepped in-between the children and the gun raising his weapon and making the decision he needed to protect the children. (He) made the decision to fire his weapon. Almost simultaneously he heard a shot as he fired," West Jordan Police Chief Doug Diamond said Friday.
In less than two seconds, a total of six shots were fired — five by Soper, striking Lambrose four times, and one by Lambrose. An autopsy by the Utah State Medical Examiner's Office determined that it was the first self-inflicted shot fired by Lambrose that caused his death, Diamond said.
On Friday, the chief revealed new details about the shooting as determined by the West Valley Police Department, which conducted the shooting investigation. West Valley Police Chief Lee Russo stood by Diamond as he talked to reporters about the findings.
In less than two seconds, a total of six shots were fired — five by Soper, striking Lambrose four times, and one by Lambrose. An autopsy by the Utah State Medical Examiner's Office determined that it was the first self-inflicted shot fired by Lambrose that caused his death.
In the weeks leading up to the shooting, Lambrose had talked to his wife, Andrea Lambrose, about being suicidal, according to Diamond.
"He made several comments to his wife in the weeks and months before this incident about suicide. He also made several negative comments about police officers, and even in fact mentioned his willingness to engage in a gunfight with police officers," Diamond said.
"From what I understand, he was just despondent. Life wasn't going right for him, things weren't going the way he thought they should go."
The chief said Lambrose apparently "just had a mistrust of police (and a) belief with the recent media attention to shootings and things that police were not being held accountable."
On Wednesday, Lambrose pulled his three children out of school early — something he had never done before. It raised red flags for Andrea Lambrose, who called 911 as she raced home to her children.
"She was afraid he would harm them. He had barricaded himself in the house. He had placed obstacles on the stairway to impede entry from police officers. There was a mattress over his front door. Then he had several weapons and ammunition ready for a gunfight in different places in the house," Diamond said.
After police arrived and surrounded the home, they had intermittent contact with Kyle Lambrose. They could see him through a window at one end of the house and the children in a room on the other.
West Jordan police have not yet equipped all of their officers with body cameras. But Soper's dashboard video camera continued recording as he tried to talk to Lambrose through the window. Although the conversation wasn't recorded on video, Soper's microphone faintly picked up the conversation.
Soper can be heard pleading with Lambrose to let his family out of the house.
"You're having a bad day, we all have those." he said. "Your kids need you. … Sir, can you at least let your family out of the house? We want to give you the help that you need. We don't want you to get hurt."
Soper, who has 17 years of experience with the department, and Sgt. Bruce Shepherd, a 25-year department veteran, made the decision to get onto the roof of the garage and try to get the children to safety by leading them out of the window and down a ladder, Diamond said.
But when Soper heard Lambrose coming back down the hall, that's when he decided to step between him and the children. Andrea Lambrose was also in the room.
After the shooting, Diamond said investigators learned more details about the threats Kyle Lambrose made to police. They also found three loaded long guns set up around the house in addition to the handgun Lambrose was carrying.
Police had never been called to the Lambrose house before. Diamond noted that they had lived there less than a year. Court records also did not show any history of domestic violence problems involving him.
The children were doing as well as could be expected, the chief said, after witnessing such a tragic event.
The family has set up a GoFundMe site* to help Andrea Lambrose and her children.
*KSL.com does not assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.
- Utah County Crisis Line: 801-226- 4433
- Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
- Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373- 7393
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
- Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1- 866-488-7386