Thousands of law enforcement officers converged on Ogden, many convoying from other parts of the state on motorcycles or in police vehicles with sirens blaring and lights flashing. They were there Wednesday morning to attend the funeral of slain Ogden Police Officer Jared Francom.
The solemn memorial tribute was fitting for Francom, 30, a father of two young girls who was gunned down during a drug raid last week. After all, he was one of their own.
But he was not only one of the brave and dedicated members of the close-knit law enforcement society that bonds even more tightly when a fellow officer goes down. Francom also belonged to the community. He also was one of Ogden's own. As are two other Ogden officers still hospitalized who were among five injured in the gunfire.
The citizens of Ogden deserve to know more than the police department has yet divulged about what happened Jan. 4.
We understand that the investigation of the shooting at an Ogden residence is ongoing. We accept the explanation that the crime scene is extensive and ballistics and other tests take time to be completed and evaluated. Interim Police Chief Wayne Tarwater was only recently appointed after former Chief Jon Greiner was dismissed due to a violation of the Hatch Act.
We understand all of that. But it's been a week. An explanation of what is so far known should be forthcoming, and soon. The citizens who rely on the Ogden police force for protection deserve to know how the community came to bear such a huge loss.
The almost unprecedented shooting of at least six officers occurred when the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force attempted to serve a "knock and announce" search warrant at the home of Matthew David Stewart.
Stewart was wounded, though nobody has described his injuries. Weber County Attorney Dee Smith says he expects to charge Stewart with aggravated murder. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has said technicians detonated "explosive materials" found in Stewart's home, but would not explain further. The raid "apparently" was prompted by suspicion that Stewart was growing marijuana, and Smith "expects" to charge Stewart with cultivation of marijuana.
Beyond that, we can only speculate, because too little has been confirmed. Too many questions remained unanswered. Silence leads to rumor, and many are circulating.
An explanation is overdue.