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Departments : Shots Fired

Shots Fired: Ogden, Utah 05-26-2006

Sgt. Troy Burnett was having a bad day, and it got worse when a young state trooper pulled over an ex-con white supremacist.

August 01, 2008  |  by - Also by this author

But today Maw's hands were grinding against the steering wheel, so tightly that the tattoos of his muscular forearms became animated. He complained of the cold and rain, and protested against Burnett's keeping the car door open.

Burnett refused to close the door, a decision that didn't set well with Maw, who continued to protest. Burnett reminded Maw that he was the one standing outside and getting even more wet. As he replied to Maw's complaint, he thought about how all this moisture was going to play hell with his back.

Some 15 minutes after his own arrival, Burnett's backup, Officer Aaron Hawes, arrived on scene.

Burnett instructed Hawes to stay with Billy Maw, telling the young officer to keep the door open and that if either of the vehicle's occupants didn't comply, "Do what you have to do."

It's not that Burnett didn't have faith in Hawes—or Turley for that matter. He did. But he also knew that both men were only recently off training, and neither had been on patrol long enough to recognize just how far and fast things could go south in a hurry.

Let's Hook Her Up

That's why he didn't waste time or pull punches when he approached Turley back at the trooper's patrol car. He advised Turley of Maw's criminal history and the fact that the man was a white supremacist known to be routinely armed.

Turley replied, "Well, she's lying to me, so let's go ahead and hook her up."

Burnett rejoined Hawes on the driver's side of the vehicle as Turley took the woman out of the car, placed her in handcuffs, and walked her back to his patrol car.

With the woman in custody, Burnett told Maw to step out of the car.

The 5-foot-9-inch, 200-pound ex-con stepped out. As he did, the wallet he had chained to his waist fell to the ground. Hawes later noted that Maw's eyes grew saucer-like in response.

Maw's agitation was even more apparent now and getting worse by the second. Burnett attempted to calm him.

"Billy, you're not under arrest," Burnett told him. "But I'm going to pat you down. Put your hands behind your head."

With that, he tapped Maw on the back of his head to indicate where he wanted the con to put his hands with his fingers interlaced.

Hemming and hawing, the con appeared momentarily unsure as to what course of action he should take. He raised his hands as though he would comply.

Then he bolted.

As Maw darted behind the Probe, Burnett pursued directly behind him as Hawes—in a bid to cut off Maw's escape—sprinted in front of the Probe's hood.

Don't Even Think About It

As Burnett rounded the passenger side, Maw's right elbow suddenly popped up high to his side. The unnatural posture raised red flags in Burnett's mind.

Then Maw twisted and spun his upper body towards Burnett, who saw that the con now held the 7.62mm CZ-52 that he'd removed from his waistband. He pointed the gun at the sergeant.

"Don't even think about it, motherf____r!" Maw yelled.

Burnett didn't think about it.

He reacted.

Burnett does not remember pointing his Glock .40 sidearm at Maw. If he spoke, the words are now forgotten. All that he was aware of then and now was the jerking recoil of his pistol as he squeezed off four rounds of Speer Gold Dot ammo at the con.

Maw fell to the ground, landing on his back, the CZ-52 still in his right hand. Maw rolled over on his left side, looking to Burnett as though the man was trying to get up.

Maw raised his right hand and Burnett fired twice more as Hawes came around the front of the car and fired a single shot into Maw's body.

Burnett stared at the downed con, taking note of the incongruous absence of blood. But the telltale lack of breath told him all he needed to know. Maw was dead.

Tags: Shots Fired, Prison Gangs, Ogden (Utah) PD, body armor


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