OGDEN — The distraught fiancee of Aaron Matthew Collier said Tuesday night she believes Ogden police overreacted in a shootout early Sunday and still doesn’t know if Collier was killed by law officers or took his own life.
“They just shot my house to pieces,” Stacee Chivers, 37, told the Standard-Examiner, choking back tears during an interview Tuesday night at the Ogden home of her parents, Jim and Sharon Chivers.
Ogden police also haven’t said whether Collier committed suicide or died from an officer’s bullet.
Police were called to Chivers’ home at 180 4th St. at 2:23 a.m. Sunday after Weber Consolidated Dispatch received a 911 call from a woman requesting assistance because of a domestic violence incident at the home.
Police made contact with residents in the home and, while investigating, were fired upon inside the residence. Officers returned fire and made a tactical retreat from the home, according to the news release from Ogden police.
In addition, the officers were able to safely remove occupants from the home.
Collier had barricaded himself inside the home and refused to come out, according to the news release.
Ogden-Metro SWAT officers responded to the house. After negotiations with Collier ceased, police entered the house and found him dead, the news release states.
A Standard-Examiner reporter was given a tour of Chivers’ home Tuesday night by Sharon Chivers. The kitchen, living room and a bedroom were riddled with what appeared to be bullet holes. Empty alcohol containers were also visible inside the dwelling.
Chivers, who has a 7-month-old daughter with Collier and a 5-year-old daughter from another relationship, said Collier, who worked in construction, had been living at her house for about six months.
Around 1 a.m. Sunday, after spending the evening visiting a few local bars, she, Collier and her friends, Desi Martinez and Michael Lansky, were in the living room of her home. Collier, who was intoxicated, began complaining about the recent re-election of President Barack Obama.
“He talked about the world exploding because of Obama,” she said.
Chivers said she told Collier he was drunk and that he should go to bed. However, he fought with Lansky until Martinez intervened.
Chivers told the Standard-Examiner that Collier then smashed her cellphone against a wall but never struck her during the incident.
Chivers then reluctantly used Collier’s cellphone to call 911 because she wanted him to calm down.
“I don’t like to call the cops,” she said. “I didn’t feel it was a dangerous situation.”
Chivers said Collier told her after she called 911 that she would “regret it the rest of her life.” She then heard Collier rattling around in the garage.
Minutes after the 911 call was placed, two Ogden police officers showed up at the house and asked where Collier was.
“I said he might be downstairs and for them to be careful … because he’s a strong person.”
The officers turned to enter the kitchen, and Chivers said she heard “pop, pop, pop,” which she immediately recognized as gunfire.
Chivers said she ran from the home with the intent of making it to the 4th Street Park, but her legs gave out and she collapsed in the middle of 4th Street.
She added that a police officer came up behind her, handcuffed her and put her in the back of a police vehicle.
Meanwhile, Martinez was still in the house and was taking cover on a couch in the living room away from the kitchen.
“One of the first cops in said, ‘He’s got a gun,’ ” said Martinez, who immediately heard the sound of rapid gunfire.
After a few minutes, Martinez got up from the couch and was taken out of the house by police.
“They didn’t know I was there,” Martinez said, adding that several officers had entered the house but didn’t see him on the couch.
Martinez said that while he was in the back of a police car, he continued to text Collier, who lay wounded in the house. In one text message, Collier tells Martinez, “Don’t ever call the cops” and asks him to bring him a cigarette.
“I might calm down if you bring me a pack of smokes,” states a text message that Collier sent Martinez.
Martinez urged Collier to hang in there, but Collier seemed resigned to his fate.
He texted Martinez: