Investigation continuing of Christmas Eve shooting

CEDAR CITY—Law enforcement officers are still investigating an incident on Christmas Eve involving the Iron/Beaver/Garfield Critical Incident Task Force.

At about 11 p.m. on Dec. 24, officers of the Cedar City Police Department were dispatched to the 1800 West block of Clark Pkwy. in Cedar City on a third-party report of a suicidal subject that may have harmed himself.  There were also reported to be family in the residence including children. Deputies of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office responded as well.

The suspect,was identified as Benjamin Dee Wilcken, a 38-year-old white male. According to an ICSO release, ultimately, Wilcken barricaded himself in the garage of the residence.  Officers from the Iron Metro SWAT Team were dispatched to the scene where negotiations with the suspect began.

Wilcken reportedly made threats directed at officers and nearby residents involving the detonation of explosives.  Surrounding residents were evacuated for their safety.  They all complied and left the area.  During the course of the search of the residence there were no explosive materials located.

“After nearly two hours of negotiations, Wilcken entered from the garage into the home where officers were waiting to take him in to custody,” the release said. “Wilcken failed to comply with orders of the officers.  Wilcken wielded a handheld weapon that he referred to as a ‘Battle Axe’ toward the officers.  Two officers deployed Tasers with no effect.  A third officer fired one round from his department issued handgun, striking Wilcken. Wilcken retreated in to the garage again. Several more hours of negotiation took place before Wilcken surrendered peacefully without further incident.  It was discovered that Wilcken was wearing military style body armor at the time that he was shot.  Wilcken suffered some self-inflicted injuries that were not life threatening.  Wilcken was transported to Cedar City Hospital where he was treated and released to the custody of the Cedar City Police Department.”

Wilcken was subsequently booked in to the Iron County Jail on the charges ofAggravated Assault against Law Enforcement, a second degree felony; Terroristic Threats, a second degree felony; Disorderly Conduct, a class C misdemeanor; and Intoxication, a class C misdemeanor.

This incident is being investigated by the Iron/Beaver/Garfield Critical Incident Task Force.


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