CRIME

Family argument over care for elderly father led to Eagle Mountain shooting, police say

Dec 13, 2022, 11:48 AM
After one person was shot, police were in a standoff with a suspect while four area schools in the ...
After one person was shot, police were in a standoff with a suspect while four area schools in the Eagle Mountain area entered a safety protocol. (Andrew Adams/KSL TV)
(Andrew Adams/KSL TV)

EAGLE MOUNTAIN, Utah — A family dispute regarding care for an elderly father resulted in a man following his sister and her husband through their Eagle Mountain house and firing multiple rounds — striking the husband in the abdomen — all while the elderly father was in the line of fire, according to police.

Mark Samuel Roberts, 61, was arrested Monday following a standoff with the Utah County sheriff’s SWAT team in Eagle Mountain. He was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of attempted murder, two counts of shooting in the direction of a person, two counts of aggravated assault and three counts of assault.

The ordeal prompted police to order four nearby schools to shelter in place. Students were unable to leave the school or be picked up for almost two hours.

Roberts has lived with his sister, her husband, and their 96-year-old father at their home, 4668 N. Kestrel Way, since July. On Monday afternoon, Roberts and his sister got into a heated argument about the best care for their father, according to a police booking affidavit filed Tuesday.

“Mark stated that his father … is in hospice care, and he was upset that (his) doctor prescribed him fentanyl patches for pain management,” the affidavit states. “Mark stated he believes that the fentanyl patches are slowly killing (the father).”

Roberts told police he and his sister were yelling at each other and he went to his room, but his sister and her husband followed and the two sides continued to yell at each other through the door.

At that point, Roberts “stated he just snapped,” according to the affidavit, while also telling detectives he “wished he could take it back.”

“Mark stated he became upset, grabbed his gun, opened the door, and began shooting,” police said in the arrest report.

As the husband ran through the living room, police say four more shots were fired.

“From the holes in the wall from inside the bedroom it was apparent that Mark was attempting to shoot (his brother-in-law) through the wall as he tracked (him) leaving the hallway,” the affidavit alleges.

Roberts says when he stepped into the living room, he fired two more rounds and struck the brother-in-law, according to the affidavit. Investigators also noted that “during the entirety of the incident his 96-year-old father … was sitting on the chair in the dining area of the residence and in the line of fire.”

After being shot, the husband and wife turned to confront Roberts. But Roberts allegedly pointed his gun at them and told them to stay back.

When deputies arrived about 1:50 p.m., the husband and wife were on the front porch with neighbors. Deputies then went into the house and got the elderly father out. The husband was taken to a local hospital in fair condition.

Roberts had gone back to his room where he said “he contemplated emptying out the gun and pointing it at deputies so that they would shoot him, and he wouldn’t have to do it himself,” according to the affidavit.

About three hours after deputies first arrived, Roberts surrendered to the SWAT team without further incident.

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Family argument over care for elderly father led to Eagle Mountain shooting, police say