Police: Invader in off-duty cop's Hurricane home lucky not to be shot

    Alleged home invader breaks into off-duty cop's Hurricane home, making threats (Photo: KUTV)

    (KUTV) A man is in jail after allegedly breaking into an off-duty St. George police officer's Hurricane home according to police.

    Officials said the front door to the home was unlocked and when the suspect, 43-year-old Nathan Gardiner, got into the house he caused a scene, made noise and then threatened the officer's life.

    This incident occurred Wednesday, a little after 3:30 p.m.

    "As law states a person has a right to defend themselves if they feel they're being threatened," Sgt. Brandon Buell with Hurricane Police Department said. He stated that when the officer heard the noise she grabbed her sidearm and went to investigate the noise, that according to police, was coming from her kitchen.

    Buell said the officer interacted with the suspect but he soon became threatening to her and she legally had the right to open fire on the man, but didn't.

    "The male then exited the house," Buell said. That's when the officer called police and other officers were able to talk Gardiner into custody.

    RELATED:Hurricane man faces myriad of charges after breaking into home, attacking officers

    "They were transporting him to the jail; He had a medical emergency that took place," Buell said.

    Officers called medical and had him checked out. That's when he became violent with the officers

    "[He] assaulted three officers, made threats towards the officers," Buell said.

    Neighbor Pete Karsch, who lives next door to the officer, witnessed the arrest Wednesday.

    "I looked out the kitchen window and saw the red and blues in the window," Karsch said. "I didn't realize that we were buying into an area that was seriously difficult like that."

    In the end, Karsch said he's happy the officer handled it the way she did, so nobody got hurt or worse.

    "This happens and I'm glad she's here."

    Buell said after Gardiner's arrest police got a search warrant for his residence in Hurricane and found suspected controlled substances, such as methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia, as well as a gun and ammunition.

    Follow D.J. Bolerjack on Twitter @DJBolerjack for breaking news, updates and more.

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