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Salt Lake County Sheriff

Utah man, 88, charged with trying to kill stepson, shooting at police

By Ashley Imlay, KSL | Posted - Jan. 19, 2020 at 4:42 p.m.



MILLCREEK — An 88-year-old man accused of shooting his stepson earlier this month and barricading himself in his home now faces several charges.

John Malin Hardy, of Millcreek, was charged Friday in 3rd District Court with attempted murder, a first-degree felony; two counts of assault against a peace officer, a second-degree felony; and two counts of felony discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony.

On Jan. 9, Hardy’s adult stepson was leaving a home at 2095 E. Sierra Ridge Court after visiting his mother, police said. Hardy then confronted the stepson outside of the garage and began shooting at him, hitting him in the bicep, charging documents state.

The stepson ran back into the house, and Hardy chased him while continuing to shoot at him, according to the charges. The younger man then ran out into the street, realized he’d been shot, and was helped by a neighbor into her home, police said.

The stepson was taken to a hospital, where he was treated for the gunshot wound, according to police.

Hardy’s 90-year-old wife and her caretaker were inside at the time of the shooting, police said, and were later taken to a neighbor’s house. The caretaker called 911.

After police were called to the home, Hardy allegedly refused to exit the house at officers’ commands. A gunshot rang out from inside, and a bullet hole was later found in the ceiling “right below” where the officers were standing, court documents state.

One of the officers then used a tactical robot to try to get into the basement room where Hardy was, according to the charges. As the officer approached the door to the room and used the robot to open the door, he heard two gunshots — one of which left a hole in the door, police said.

The SWAT team commander on the call reported “if the robot had been an officer, they would have been shot,” according to the charges. The robot ultimately entered the room, where Hardy was lying on the ground, police said. He was then arrested.

Officers found several bullet holes and shell casings throughout the house, court documents state. They also found several pill bottles containing narcotics, paperwork from a mortuary, a long gun and a handgun.

When interviewed by police, Hardy allegedly said he intended to kill his stepson and then himself. He’d planned the killing “for a long time” and expressed regret “it did not turn out the way he wanted it to,” according to the charges.

A possible motive was not released in court documents.

Hardy also told police he’d shot at the sound of officers to let them know he was armed and to keep them from coming into the room, charges state.

The state requested Hardy be held without bail.

Free and confidential help and support for victims and survivors of domestic violence is available 24/7 at 1-800-897-LINK (5465) or visiting udvc.org. The Utah Department of Health offers suicide prevention help at utahsuicideprevention.org/suicide-prevention-basics. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255. Help is also available through the SafeUT app.

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Ashley Imlay

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