Ogden, UT – Ogden Police Department (ODP) Officer Nate Lyday was murdered in the line of duty as he was responding to a domestic disturbance on Thursday.
The incident began shortly before noon, when a woman called 911 and told the dispatcher that her husband had threatened to kill her, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Police responded to the Bonneville Park residence and found the suspect outside on the porch.
The suspect ignored the officers’ commands and retreated into the home, slamming the door shut behind him, police said.
“As officers moved quickly to the door in an attempt to follow the suspect, he began firing through the door,” Ogden Police Chief Randy Watt said during an emotional press conference on Thursday afternoon.
Officer Lyday, 24, and a Utah Adult Probation and Parole officer were both hit by the gunfire, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
The wounded officers were dragged to safety by their comrades as the Ogden Metro SWAT team and law enforcement officers from multiple agencies raced to the scene.
Police were able to safely remove the children from the residence.
Officers located the gunman deceased inside the home, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
He was later identified as 53-year-old John Benedict Coleman, according to KSTU.
The wounded officers were rushed to McKay-Dee Hospital, where Officer Lyday succumbed to his injuries.
The Adult Probation and Parole officer was treated for non-life-threatening wounds and has been released from the hospital to recover at home, the Utah Department of Corrections (DOC), said in a statement to the Deseret News.
“Our hearts are broken. We’ve lost one of our own,” Chief Watt said, struggling to hold back tears. “Please as a department, as a community, as a state and as a nation let us not forget such fine men and women who every day offer their lives up on behalf of this great and noble calling.”
Chief Watt said that Officer Lyday, the son of a Davis County law enforcement officer, was a “warrior, guardian and public servant” who had been with the OPD for just 15 months.
“We are here to pay tribute to Officer Nate Lyday,” Chief Watt said during a press conference late Friday morning. “[He was] felled by the forces of evil…Officer Lyday sacrificed his life on behalf of the threatened and fearful family on the scene, the citizens of Ogden…and the fellow law enforcement officers who were with him.”
The chief described the young officer as a “son of Ogden” who graduated with highest honors from Weber State University with a degree in criminal justice.
He and his wife were about to celebrate their fifth wedding anniversary, as well as her recent graduation from Weber State University, he added.
Officer Lyday “exemplified the nature of a true guardian,” Chief Watt said. “We are grateful to Officer Lyday for his service, his friendship and his example…we will celebrate that he lived and we will thank the god he worshiped that he was one of us.”
A law enforcement procession escorted Officer Lyday’s body to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Taylorsville at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, the Deseret News reported.
“Our hearts are broken and we mourn with the Ogden Police Department for the loss of a fellow law enforcement officer,” the DOC said, according to the Deseret News. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this fallen hero.”
“I am heartbroken to hear the news from Ogden this evening,” Utah Governor Gary Herbert tweeted on Thursday evening. “Standing tall in the line of duty is a brave and noble act, and my prayers are with the fallen officer’s family and friends. Tonight, the whole state mourns with
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Ogden Police Department Officer Lyday both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Officer Nate Lyday, your life mattered.