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Aubrey Clark, KSL TV

Man arrested in Utah standoff also wanted in shooting days earlier

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Updated - Apr 17th, 2019 @ 4:04pm | Posted - Apr 17th, 2019 @ 6:22am

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MAGNA — A West Valley man arrested following a six-hour standoff with police at a fast-food restaurant Tuesday night is also wanted in Cottonwood Heights for allegedly firing shots inside a house.

Joshua Benjamin Williams, 36, was arrested after police say he pulled a gun on Unified police officers and then continued to fire shots out the restaurant window while it was surrounded by a SWAT team.

He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of 30 counts of illegal discharge of a firearm, transaction of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, and three counts of aggravated assault.

The incident began Tuesday night while police were looking for Williams in the Magna area. Williams was wanted by Cottonwood Heights police for an incident in their city Saturday afternoon.

Williams was at a house near 6500 South and 2600 East on Saturday when police say he got into a dispute with someone inside and fired several shots before running away. No one was hurt.

Based on a 911 call from Williams' grandmother, officers went looking for Williams on Tuesday in the Magna area, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report. While they were looking, officers received a report of a suspicious man at a Burger King, 8443 W. Main, about 11 p.m. The man refused to leave, even though the restaurant was closed, said Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray. The man, who police identified as Williams, locked himself in a bathroom and refused to come out, she said.

When officers arrived at the restaurant and attempted to talk to Williams, he pulled a gun on them, according to Gray.

"Several shots were fired by Williams from the bathroom. SWAT officers were called to the scene. As they approached the business, Williams fired several more shots," the report states.

After the first round of shots were fired, officers evacuated the restaurant's employees and called the SWAT team.

For the next six hours, Gray said a negotiator attempted to get Williams to come out, and used tear gas at one point. Williams, however, would randomly fire shots out the restaurant from inside the bathroom, she said. Approximately 30 rounds were fired, according to the report.

About 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, the SWAT team was able to talk Williams into coming out and surrendering without further incident, she said. When interviewed by investigators, Williams said he was hiding in the bathroom because the "cartel" was after him, the report states.

Williams was convicted in October of theft by receiving stolen property. In another case, he was convicted of possession of a firearm by a restricted person and sentenced to six months in jail, according to court records.


Pat Reavy

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