Police: Mormon temple gunman heavily armed, possibly mentally ill
Published: Monday, Dec. 27, 2010 5:45 p.m. MST
By Pat Reavy, Deseret News
SOUTH JORDAN The man shot and killed by police outside the LDS Church's Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple was heavily armed and running toward a group of people with a loaded shotgun when he was shot, according to police.
Police released the man's name on Monday. They said Daniel M. Pogue, 54, had already unloaded two shotguns, one rifle and multiple swords out of his vehicle and thrown them through the gate onto temple property Saturday when he was confronted by police
He had also been seen "chopping on the fence surrounding the temple" with a machete, according to a statement from South Jordan police.
Pogue, who had been pointing a third shotgun at the temple and bystanders, ignored repeated commands to drop his weapon and ran toward a group of bystanders with a shotgun still in his hand, according to police.
"Police, fearing for the safety of those bystanders in the immediate area, and with complete non-compliance from the suspect, fired one round which struck the suspect and stopped his movement," South Jordan police said in a statement Monday.
Some of those bystanders told the Deseret News Monday they were afraid when they saw Pogue running toward them.
Ron Ashley and Sophal You were taking a walk around the temple grounds on Christmas Day, when both noticed a man unloading items from his vehicle, which was parked parallel along the street next to the outer property of the temple, and tossing them onto temple grounds.
Ashley could tell one item was a rifle and You said one was a sword.
"He shouted at me to 'Go home,' three times," Ashley said.
Pogue seemed very agitated as he was saying this, Ashley said. Then Pogue started talking about "the birds."
"He said, 'Go home, the birds are coming. You need to go home. They were here last night. Did you see them?,' " Ashley said. "I had no idea what he was talking about."
You said Pogue pulled his shirt collar down and she could see something that looked like scratches or cuts that went from his cheek down past his neck.
As Ashley continued talking to Pogue another bystander from across the street told him to get back and that he was on the phone with 911.
When police arrived, Ashley said he heard officers repeatedly yell, "Get down" to Pogue.
As soon as the officers pulled up, Pogue grabbed a shotgun from his vehicle and tried to hide behind his car, according to police. When he refused to obey the commands of officers, he took off running toward You and several others.
"I said, 'He's running to us, he's coming, we need to leave,' " she said. "I was scared."
After the shooting, detectives discovered the shotgun Pogue was carrying was loaded. He had additional ammunition on him and at least 50 more rounds of ammunition for the other weapons he had brought, according to police.
In addition, investigators ended up recovering three swords and a machete at the scene.
Police confirmed Monday that family members indicated there was a history of mental illness with Pogue, the extent of which was still being investigated
A motive for the incident was also still being investigated Monday.
Pogue's estranged wife said that he did not have delusions and the only illness he suffered from was depression. She said that Pogue was upset Saturday because he couldn't see his daughter on Christmas, and he hadn't seen her for a long time.
Neighbors on Sunday said they observed Pogue about 90 minutes prior to the incident at the temple in front of his driveway at his South Jordan basement apartment and he appeared to be distraught or agitated. Some thought he may have locked something in his car, like his keys, as he appeared to be staring at his vehicle and talking to himself.
Court records show Pogue may have been having financial problems in recent years. Some of the businesses associated with his name included Vacation Homes Intl., Project One Inc. and several construction businesses.