SALT LAKE CITY — A man who threatened to detonate a bomb at a Salt Lake City light rail station before an officer fatally shot him Thursday night actually had an explosive, police said.
Police Detective Dennis McGowan said it's not clear how powerful 39-year-old Anthony Mayhew's explosive was, but authorities closed down nearby streets and train service at the Gallivan Plaza TRAX station before shooting him and having robots destroy his backpack about 11 p.m. Thursday.
Mayhew was pronounced dead at a hospital shortly after the confrontation. One officer has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting.
Police responded to the station about 9 p.m. Thursday and said they found Mayhew carrying what appeared to be a switch with wires leading to a backpack.
Mayhew took things out of the backpack and alternately sat down and stood up before he stopped talking to negotiators about two hours later, McGowan said.
When he began walking toward police and didn't comply with orders to stop, one officer shot him, McGowan said.
A police report described the officers as "fearing for their lives and given the credible threat of an explosive device."
After the bomb squad destroyed the backpack, officials collected the remnants and tested it for explosive material.
Mayhew's last address was in West Jordan. Police have not released a motive.
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