The night we lost one of our own in shootout
One officer recounts the day serving a search warrant initiated a gun battle that killed 1, injured 5
Editor's note: As part of our year-end coverage, we look back at some of the biggest and most heroic news stories, and reconnect with some of the officers and departments involved in the incidents to find out what has developed since, and how the department has faired in the days and months following.
In this article, Officer Eric Young recounts the tragedy that killed one his own and left 5 more wounded, and how the department has spent the year regaining their strength, and honoring a fallen hero.
By Officer Eric Young
Ogden Police Department
OGDEN, Utah — The evening of January 4, ten agents with the Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force served a knock and announce search warrant at 3268 Jackson Avenue in Ogden, Utah.
While clearing the upper level of the home, suspect Matthew Stewart began firing upon them from behind cover in a bedroom of the home.
When the assault ended, Agent Jared Francom had been killed by the gunfire and five other officers had been shot and injured. Several of the injuries were immediately life threatening.
It was the cooperative efforts of police agencies throughout Utah that carried the Ogden Police Department through this tragic event.
Police agencies in Weber County and across the state sent officers to fill Ogden Police patrol shifts so that our officers could mourn and recover.
The funeral for Agent Francom was held on Wednesday January 11. An estimated 4,000 people attended the funeral at the Dee Events Center on the campus of Weber State University.
It was estimated that between 400 and 500 police vehicles took part in a procession winding through the streets of Ogden for miles.
The Boy Scouts of America lined the route with American flags and stood at attention in the cold to honor our fallen hero.
The citizens of Utah turned out in droves to honor Agent Francom. The miles and miles of procession were filled with people showing their support for Jared.
The five injured officers were an example of courage, working very hard through their recovery. All five of them have returned to regular duty.
Although all are back to work, they have not completely healed. Four of the officers have required additional surgery over the last 11 months; two had follow-up surgical procedures within the last month.
The Ogden Police Department, the Weber County Sheriff’s Office and the Roy City Police Department will forever be scarred by these events, but it is business as usual.
Counseling was made available not only for the officers involved in the shooting, but every member of the Ogden Police Department who wished to avail themselves of the service.
Jared’s name was added to the Utah Fallen Officer Memorial at the Utah State Capital in May and a local artist donated a stone sculpture bearing the image of Agent Jared Francom in a courtyard behind the Ogden Public Safety Building.
The Ogden Police Department is currently partnering with a local organization (Hope for Widows) and the James E. and Norma A. Kier Charitable Foundation to raise funds to send Jared’s family and all the officers involved in the shooting to the National Police Memorial in Washington, DC to see Jared’s name be added to the wall next May.
On January 4, 2013, the Ogden City Public Safety Building will be renamed the Francom Public Safety Building in honor of Jared.
A preliminary hearing for Matthew Stewart was held in October 2012 and he was bound over to face nine felonies including Capital Homicide for which the punishment if convicted is death.
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