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KSL TV, File

Authorities identify man killed on Sunday in Tooele police shooting following hostage situation

By Graham Dudley, | Updated - Oct. 19, 2020 at 2:48 p.m. | Posted - Oct. 18, 2020 at 10:21 a.m.

TOOELE — A long standoff between police and an armed man with a hostage ended with the man being fatally shot early Sunday morning, officials said.

The incident began about 9 p.m. Saturday when a family member called police to report the man for violating a protective order, according to Tooele City Police Chief Ron Kirby. Police responded to the parking lot of a strip mall, Kirby said.

The man took a woman hostage when police arrived. Officers surrounded him, "and there was a very long, very tense hostage situation. We called in professional negotiators, working tirelessly to try to get him to release the woman," Kirby said. Tooele Police Lt. Jeremy Hansen said the man also took a juvenile male hostage, but said the boy was released "several hours" before negotiations ended.

"Ultimately," Kirby said, "he chose to go for his gun when officers were right there confronting him."

The man was then shot and killed about 3 a.m. "to protect the woman and themselves," Kirby said. He was identified Monday as 27-year-old Tutuila "Ben" Pine Koonwaiyou, of Tooele, according to Hansen.

Kirby said he believes the hostage was the man's girlfriend. She was transported to the hospital via ambulance with serious injuries, but Kirby could not specify the nature of the injuries.

The Utah Department of Public Safety is investigating the incident, Kirby said. Three Tooele police officers fired their weapons during the incident, and all three have been placed on administrative leave during the investigation, Hansen said Monday.

Contributing: Jacob Klopfenstein,

Graham Dudley


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