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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

[UT] Firefighter Woods' 2nd domestic violence standoff will be his last

Farmington firefighter Brian Woods was killed after 12 hour stand-off. Brian had called dispatch and said come and get me.”

The protestors said if Wood had been allowed to talk to friends or family, the situation would not have ended the way it did...

[This writer believes Brian made his own choices and knew the possible consequences after 12 hours of armed resistance to police. Having had a prior standoff earlier in the year, he had a lot of time to process consequences. I believe it was traumatic for everyone who loved him, but possibly turned out the way Brian had intended. I'm praying for family, friends, and all of the law enforcement officers involved.]

By Nate Carlisle ncarlisle@sltrib.com
The Salt Lake Tribune
09/22/2008 06:23:06 PM MDT
[Excerpts] ARMINGTON - The man at the center of a daylong standoff here killed himself late Monday as police launched a barrage of flash grenades and tear gas. About 9:10 p.m., police began their attempt to subdue Brian Wood, a part-time Farmington firefighter, who had held police at bay with a gun since about 9:30 Monday morning... The Wood family was gathered near the police command center in the neighborhood when they were notified of his death. The family hugged and cried with one another. Earlier in the evening, Farmington Police Chief Wayne Hansen said Wood had been speaking with a negotiator and had not made any demands... But the standoff continued into the evening until police launched the grenade attack. The incident began around 9:30 a.m. as a report of a family fight, Hansen said. Wood, according to the police chief, fired one shot into a garbage can. Wood's wife and 10 year-old son left the house uninjured. At some point Wood took refuge in his truck and held police at bay with a gun... [Full article here]

Standard-Examiner Davis Bureau
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
[Excerpts] A part-time Farmington firefighter who died after a day-long stand-off Monday was shot by police, Farmington Police Chief Wayne Hansen said Tuesday evening... (Wood) had called dispatch and said come and get me,” Hansen said... It was reported at first that Wood had shot himself... A secretary at the man’s Westminster Presbyterian Church confirmed Tuesday morning that funeral plans and grief counseling sessions were being planned for the man’s family... Davis County Sheriff’s officers, Farmington Firefighters, a Clearfield K-9 unit, Bountiful Police, Utah Highway Patrol and the Davis County SWAT team were all called to the scene... About 10 family members stood near the outside perimeter of the blocked-off area but would not talk to reporters. Police dispatchers said the situation had begun as a domestic disturbance... Farmington Elementary was in a perimeter lockdown... At about 2:30 p.m. seven loud pops could be heard. Two of the women with the family group began crying. A police officer quickly ran over and said the noises were not gun shots, but canisters of tear gas that had been shot around the truck... A short time after the tear gas was reportedly fired, the man exited his truck with the gun to his head, then chest. He was communicating with negotiators through his cell phone. He then got back into the truck... [Full article here]

Man killed when police move to end standoff
Deseret News
By Jens Dana jdana@desnews.com
Published: September 24, 2008
[Excerpts] ...friends of Farmington resident Brian Wood, 36, said police provoked him when they deployed tear gas and flash grenades as they moved on him late Monday night. "I just thought it was horrible," Farmington resident Wade Lake said of watching police close in on Wood, who had barricaded himself in his truck. "Just like someone tormenting an animal in a cage"... As police fired tear gas and set off flash grenades, Woods fired a shot and an officer returned fire, killing him, [Police Chief Wayne] Hansen said... Wood had been engaged in a daylong standoff with police from Farmington, Clearfield and Bountiful, as well as deputies from the Davis County Sheriff's Office, following a domestic dispute with his wife, Liz, at their home near 115 E. 100 North. During the argument, Wood reportedly fired a shot into a garbage can, prompting Liz Wood and the couple's 10-year-old son, Jake, to flee the house... Brian Wood then made the 911 call that alerted police to the incident and told police to "come and get (him)." But when police arrived, Wood barricaded himself in his pickup truck. "I think it's clear he didn't mean to surrender," Hansen said... Monday's incident was not his department's first run-in with Wood. Farmington police responded to the Wood home in March following a reported domestic dispute. Police were able to talk Wood into surrendering in that incident. He was arrested for investigation of domestic assault. Wade Lake said he's certain he could have defused the situation Monday if police had allowed him to talk to his lifelong friend. "I know I could have settled him down," Lake said. "He was very distraught"... Brian was a good man having the worst day of his life"... Pastor Neal Humphrey, of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Fruit Heights, said he is providing spiritual counsel to Liz Wood and her family, who were at the mortuary during Tuesday's press conference. Humphrey said Liz Wood has barely been able give "yes" or "no" answers to questions about funeral arrangements since being told of her husband's death. "She's a mess," Humphrey said. He also said he's offered her some counsel on the tragic event. "It's safe to say ... that yesterday was the worst day of her life and now we can move on from there because it can't get any worse than this," he said... [Full article here]

StandardNet, Utah
By Mitch Shaw
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
[Excerpts]...[Farmington Police Chief Wayne] Hansen said Wood had shot at a garbage can earlier in the day and then later had shot another round. He was not certain if the second shot was what caused the officer to shoot Wood. Wood had threatened officers verbally and displayed two handguns several times during the day. At times during the negotiations Wood would either hang up on officers, call back or not answer... In April, Wood had barricaded himself following a domestic violence situation, but had not displayed any guns... He was put on a leave of absence, said Farmington Fire Chief Larry Gregory, but returned to the fire department, where he has worked for the past three years. Counseling will be provided for the 34 part-time firefighters at a meeting tonight, Gregory said... Some of Wood's friends held signs across the street from the news conference protesting how Wood had died. One of the signs said, "Who do we call when we need protection from police?" "He needed a hug," said Evan Lake. "He needed love." Evan Lake lives near the fire and police station. His brother, Wade Lake, called police and asked if he could talk to Wood. "I was told I wasn't state-certified," said Wade Lake... Officers believed Wood was a danger to everyone, Hansen said... Neal Humphrey, Wood's pastor at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, spent Tuesday morning with Wood's family members, planning funeral services and grief counseling sessions. "He was a terrific person," he said. "He just got into a dark place and didn't know how to get out. It can happen to anyone"... [Full article here]

Family, friends say they should have been allowed to persuade man to give up
By Nate Carlisle ncarlisle@sltrib.com
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Launched: 09/24/2008 12:00:00 AM MDT
[Excerpts] ...Paul Waite, an assistant superintendent with the Davis School District and a close friend of the Wood family, said the Wood family did not want to speak to reporters on Tuesday. Waite maintained Wood was not an angry or aggressive person. Some of Wood's friends on Tuesday said they or family should have been allowed to speak with Wood to persuade him to surrender. Todd Barton, a childhood friend of Wood's who on Monday drove to Farmington from Provo when he heard of the standoff, said the show of force by police escalated the situation and Wood's family was told speaking to him would be against protocol... Barton said he and family were told Wood told nearby SWAT officers they did not have to walk to the police station to take a break - they could go into Wood's house, get a drink from the refrigerator and sit on his couch. "He was always this friend that was like the big teddy bear," Barton added. "He was always a kind and loving person"... [Full article here]

By Shara Park spark@ksl.com
and Becky Bruce bbruce@ksl.com
September 24th, 2008
[Excerpts] The Davis County Attorney's office released a statement today saying it was a Davis County Deputy who shot and killed 36-year-old Brian Wood. The statement this morning said, "A thorough, fair, and objective review must be conducted to determine whether the officer's decision to use deadly force was justified"... The statement said, "While we are confident that we can and would make the proper decisions based on evidence, fact, and law, we are mindful that any questions related to potential conflicts between sister branches of Davis County Government should be eliminated"... Friends and neighbors of Brian Wood have reacted angrily to the handling of the situation and have held several protests... The protestors said if Wood had been allowed to talk to friends or family, the situation would not have ended the way it did... [Full article here]

On a different blog:

Blog: Forced Suicide
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Link to blog is here]


  1. What I posted on the Forced Suicide blog:

    cw said...

    It's not law enforcement's fault. Police get killed at simple traffic stops so staging a 2nd standoff Brian was taking his life into his own hands.

    As far as his fear that he'd be beaten so badly, was he beaten after he did this last time? I see no mention of police abuse.

    It's hard for friends or family, but there are predictable consequences for some actions and I'd bet Brian knew during those TWELVE HOURS that death was one of the possible results as the number of officers continued to swell.

    We all know we can't do what Brian did, sit in a sea of cops with a gun. He could have got shot if he sneezed.

    It was mighty big of the fire department to still send him into the public as a public servant after the first standoff in light of the times, and I wonder what they had in place to gauge his mental health along the way.

    I know it's hard, but Brian made his own man-choices. Blaming police for not letting his people woo him out of this again is denying Brian credit for how he orchestrated the end of his story.

    The healing should have been intensely before this incident. The pastor said, "He just got into a dark place and didn't know how to get out."

    I believe that's true. But sometime between his two standoffs would have been the time for healing. Not at that scene Brian choreographed.

    Brian was defiant, armed, not cooperative, and started his entanglement with police by saying "Come get me." In my world, if you want to live, that's the wrong thing to say.

    Maybe some of you are too close to see that there is a good chance that he had a goal

    and he achieved it.

    All of you are in my prayers. None of this can be easy. It's awful for everyone to lose the person they love, to lose him so violently, and seemingly so needlessly. Seemingly.

  2. Firefighter shot in standoff threatened police in the past, report shows
    By Nate Carlisle ncarlisle@sltrib.com
    The Salt Lake Tribune
    10/10/2008 07:28:06 PM MDT

    Posted: 7:28 PM- Months before he died during a September standoff with police, Brian P. Wood said death would be better than jail, according to police reports released Friday.

    Reports obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune describing a March episode of domestic violence claim Wood said he was willing to take police "out."

    Farmington police Chief Wayne Hansen on Friday declined to say whether Wood's prior statements influenced the SWAT action in September, except to say: "We were deeply concerned for everyone's safety."

    On the morning of Sept. 22, Wood - a 37-year-old part-time Farmington firefighter - had a dispute with his wife, fired a gunshot into a trailer and ignited a standoff with police. Twelve hours later, a SWAT team approached firing tear gas and pepper balls.

    Wood's family said he had been stung by a Taser and was on the ground when an officer fired one rifle shot through Wood's head, killing him. Police have said Wood fired a pistol shot about the same time the officer fired. The Utah attorney general's office is investigating the case and both it and Farmington police have released few details.

    A March 11 dispute between Wood and his wife started as she was preparing for a business trip to California.

    Wood saw her packing bikinis and accused her of planning to have an affair, police reports say. She told police Wood twisted her arm behind her back then forcibly removed her wedding ring from her hand.

    She left their home wrapped in a blanket and went across the street to the Farmington police department.

    Police went to the home but Wood would not answer the door. When reached by telephone, Wood said he would not come outside because he did not want to go to jail, reports say.

    An officer arriving at that scene told colleagues Wood had, at an earlier time, said he would "take some officer's (sic) out," according to reports. The alleged statement caused police talking to Wood to take positions safely away from the house.

    Police made contact with Wood again and he suggested he was contemplating suicide. Wood also said it would be easier to "take a bullet" than go to jail, according to reports.

    A police negotiator persuaded Wood to surrender about six hours after the assault. Wood later entered a plea in abeyance to a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct. Hansen said police determined Wood was incorrect about his wife planning an affair.

    Officers confiscated 16 guns from Wood's home following the March confrontation, including the two handguns Wood had during the September standoff. Hansen said police gave the guns to Wood's father a few weeks before the September episode.

    Wood's father and brother have criticized the police's use of force against Wood and their refusal to allow friends or family to speak with him during the September standoff. Wood's family did not return calls Friday.


  3. AnonymousJuly 24, 2012

    Brian worked for me at the SLC airport 17 yrs ago. He was NON VIOLENT and Balanced.

  4. Brian's father in law made a career out of reconstructing crime scenes and did so in Brian's case. The news report that Brian inflicted the fatal wound on himself is false. He had already let go of any firearm, was already injured and on the ground before he was fatally shot. His father in law was Sheriff Dub Lawrence. He is just now releasing a documentary film called "Peace Officer" about his investigation of Brian's death and the deaths of many others in SWAT style circumstances. The film started playing at the Tower on September 25, 2015. It will also be playing at the Gateway starting October 2. I urge everyone to see it.

  5. AnonymousMay 09, 2016

    After five minutes of being being incompacitated by multiple percussive blasts, Brian was shot in the head and killed by a deputy. Now how was he a threat? And to who?


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