Taylorsville manhunt ends with help of 12-year-old boy

Nov 5, 2021, 7:09 AM

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — An hourslong manhunt for the person suspected of shooting at a Taylorsville police officer ended abruptly Thursday morning, with the help of a young boy who found the man in his window well.

Taylorsville Police Chief Brady Cottam says one of his officers was in the area of 4700 south and 2200 West after 4 a.m. when he saw a “suspicious” man in the parking lot at the nearby Speedway gas station.

When the officer approached the man, he took off on foot and then at some point, turned and fired several rounds at the officer who returned fire. Officers told neighbors to shelter in place.

Search for Taylorsville shooting suspect over after man found with self-inflicted gunshot wound

Hours into the manhunt that involved multiple police agencies, Lucas Mann, 12, was putting on his sweatshirt with the words “True Hero” on it. He was getting ready for school, unaware of the search outside his home and unprepared for what he would see from inside his home.

“It’s kind of crazy just having it happen around me,” Lucas said.

He normally doesn’t go downstairs to check on his younger siblings but decided to Thursday morning. As he walked to his sister’s room he heard a “soft thud” on the window and turned to see a man inside the window well.

“I run upstairs as fast as I can and I’m screaming, ‘There’s a robber in the window well!’” he said. “I’m freaked out, heart’s beating, filled with adrenaline.”

Lucas’ parents call 911. His mother, Rachelle Mann, went downstairs to get two of her children and noticed the man was no longer in the window well. The family took shelter in a room and minutes later, the search was over.

“I heard the final gunshots,” Mann said.

She later found out the suspect – still unidentified – had run through their unfinished fence and through their neighbor’s yard, where police say he took his own life.

“I feel sad for this poor man whatever he was going through,” she said. “He was away from our home and our property and our four small children so I’m grateful for that.”

The Manns don’t know what would have happened had Lucas not gone downstairs to check on his siblings. But they found out later the screen had been removed from the window, leading them to believe the suspect was going to try to break into their home.

“We’re shaken, you know. You want to feel safe in your neighborhood,” Mann said.

“I definitely feel like (Lucas) was inspired to go straight down and check on his siblings and wake them up for the day. Because he normally doesn’t do that. And so that was where he needed to be. He was in the right place at the right time.”

Mann says her son was a hero.

“He wore the right sweatshirt for the right day,” she said.

Taylorsville police continue to investigate who the suspect is and why he would have run and opened fire on police.

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Taylorsville manhunt ends with help of 12-year-old boy