4 officers burned after suicidal man threatens to burn himself alive

Apr 5, 2018, 6:16 PM | Updated: 9:20 pm

KAYSVILLE, Utah – All it took was one look at all the police officers, police cars, and a medical helicopter landing on the road, and you can’t blame Randy Palmer for thinking the worse.

“I knew something had happened, and I was worried it might be a mass shooting,” Palmer said.

He was happy to find out it wasn’t, but what did happen at the Top Station gas station, at 200 North and 400 West in Kaysville, is bad enough.

“It’s heartbreaking. Very emotional for me to hear and see,” said Kaysville police Chief Sol Oberg.

Courtesy: Laura Seitz, Deseret News

At about 2 o’clock Thursday afternoon, officers received a 911 call about a man inside the gas station who had doused himself with gasoline and was threatening to light himself on fire.

Kaysville police, as well as the Davis County Sheriff’s Office, responded.

As law enforcement officers approached the man to try to help him, the fire started.

Police are still investigating the exact details of this critical moment, but four law enforcement officers were taken to the hospital. Two of them had significant burns.

“I saw some of the burns and they were substantial to the back of the one officers, arm and face of another officer, and there was concern about burns in their mouth and throat or lungs that would block an airway,” Chief Oberg said.

One law enforcement officer was released just a couple of hours later.

The suicidal man was also taken to the hospital, but no one else was hurt.

“I feel a lot of pride in the fact that these officers, without hesitation, responded to save not only this suicidal person, but a lot of other people in what could have been, literally, an explosive situation,” said Chief Oberg.

That’s what Palmer thought as well.

He is thankful there are those who do this job.

“I do consider them heroes,” Palmer said. “They obviously put their life on the line.”

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4 officers burned after suicidal man threatens to burn himself alive