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Clearfield • A Layton man was killed during an exchange of gunfire with police early Wednesday morning in Clearfield.
Clearfield Police Lt. Kelly Bennett confirmed that 31-year-old Benjamin William Heaton was shot and killed by members of the Davis County Multi-Agency SWAT team during a gunbattle that erupted after a standoff that lasted several hours.
The incident began at 11:36 p.m. Tuesday when a Clearfield police officer pulled over a car listed as having been stolen on Sunday.
Heaton ran from the vehicle and climbed onto the roof of a detached garage in the backyard of a home near 450 N. Fern Drive, police said. He pulled a handgun and threatened officers, leading to the dispatch of SWAT officers to the scene.
Heaton reportedly was in contact with a SWAT negotiator by cellphone prior firing a handgun at officers, about 4 a.m. Wednesday.
"He elevated the situation by shooting rounds off from the handgun," Bennett said at a news conference, adding that Heaton had, at one point, "said he would kill an officer."
Heaton allegedly fired his gun multiple times during the hours of negotiations. Bennett said the officers opened fire after Heaton starting shooting at them, but the lieutenant could not say what direction Heaton shot other rounds as the situation escalated.
Details on how many shots were fired by the suspect and police, and how many times and where on his body Heaton was wounded, were not being released due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.
Residents of four neighboring homes were evacuated, while other neighbors were cautioned to shelter in place during the incident.
Police said they were not sure if Heaton knew the people who owned the garage that he climbed onto.
No other injuries were reported.
A 21-year-old woman who was a passenger in Heaton's car was arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle. Court records show an extensive criminal history for Heaton, including numerous misdemeanor and felony counts ranging from burglary, theft and aggravated assault to a slew of drug-related charges.
A $5,000 warrant was issued for his arrest July 12 when he failed to appear in court on charges of third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance and class B misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Police found methamphetamine, syringes and a glass pipe during a May 30 traffic stop in Davis County, according to charging documents.
In his most recent case, Heaton was allegedly in possession of drug paraphernalia June 26 in Layton. When Heaton failed to appear in court for that case Tuesday, a judge issued a $1,000 arrest warrant.
Utah Department of Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Adams said Heaton had been incarcerated in the Utah State Prison system numerous times, the most recent from May 12, 2015, to March 8, 2016.