Southern Utah man charged after shots fired near park, homes

A man who police say fired two rounds near a park and residential homes now faces numerous charges.

A man who police say fired two rounds near a park and residential homes now faces numerous charges. (Brian A Jackson, Shutterstock)

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SANTA CLARA, Washington County — An intoxicated man who allegedly fired a gun near a park in southern Utah and was arrested after police fired a less-lethal round at him, now faces criminal charges.

Tayden Daniel Tunison, 27, of Ivins, was charged Tuesday in 5th District Court with two counts of illegal discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony; failing to stop at the command of law enforcement, a class A misdemeanor; two counts of discharging a firearm in city limits, carrying a weapon while under the influence, and failing to stop at the command of police, all class B misdemeanors; and disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor.

On Friday, officers responded to the area of Lava Ridge Intermediate School, 2425 Rachel Dr., after person called 911, mentioned something about "attempted murder" and hung up, according to a police booking affidavit. The caller was identified as Tunison.

Police say Tunison was intoxicated and had a gun. He was located near the back of the school, according to the affidavit.

"Officers held perimeter and kept eyes on him in-person and by drone. Mr. Tunison discharged his firearm two times on the baseball field just west of the school," the affidavit states while noting that the school is surrounded by town houses and vacation homes. It was not immediately known Tuesday if bullets hit any structures. No injuries were reported.

"Mr. Tunison began to walk toward the park, just south of the school, where he was met with multiple officers. Officers told him to stop and gave lawful orders, but Mr. Tunison did not comply. Mr. Tunison was struck with a rubber projectile," the affidavit states.

After being hit with the less-lethal round, Tunison was placed in handcuffs and taken into custody.

Police believe Tunison wanted officers to shoot him and noted that "this is the second time in six months that Mr. Tunison has been in possession of a firearm while intoxicated walking the streets, informing dispatch and police that he wanted to end his life by 'suicide by cop.' Mr. Tunison's behavior is escalating especially with the discharge of his firearm," according to the affidavit.

When he was arrested, police requested that Tunison be held in jail without the possibility to post bail.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021 after many years of reporting for the Deseret News


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