Funeral to be Wednesday for Francom

Jan 9 2012 - 3:18pm



OGDEN -- The funeral for slain Ogden Officer Jared Francom, whose death rattled the state and captured much public attention, has been set for Wednesday at Weber State University.

The service for Francom, 30, will begin at 11 a.m. at the Dee Events Center, 4400 Harrison Blvd.

Francom was shot while serving a search warrant Wednesday night with 11 other members of the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force. He died early Thursday morning at Ogden Regional Medical Center.

His interment will be at the Ogden City Cemetery.

Five other strike force officers were wounded that night, including Jason Vanderwarf, of the Roy Police Department.

Vanderwarf was released Thursday from Ogden Regional Medical Center after treatment for a hip wound and is recovering at home.

He said Saturday he will remember Francom as a man who "loved his job, loved his family."

The officer said he remained conscious during the shooting and was aware of what had happened. He could not discuss the events of the night in any more detail, citing an ongoing investigation.

Vanderwarf wants to return to duty in part to pay tribute to the fallen policeman.

Ogden Officer Kasey Burrell remained in critical condition Saturday night. Officer Michael Rounkles has been upgraded from critical condition to fair at McKay-Dee Hospital, where Ogden Police Officer Shawn Grogan also was listed in fair condition.

Weber County Sheriff's Sgt. Nate Hutchinson has been treated and released, according to a release from the hospital.

Hutchinson and his family released the following statement through the hospital:

"We appreciate all the support of our family. The community support has been amazing. We ask that you respect our privacy and give us an opportunity to heal. We will not respond to any press inquiries."

The hospital staff also asked Saturday that friends, colleagues and fellow law enforcement officers who want to visit their friend or loved one to wait until the patient is out of the hospital.

Hospital staff and security have even turned away some visitors.

Well-meaning visitors stay only a few minutes but may not realize that five more visitors could be right behind them, the hospital stated in a news release.

"Our goal is to ensure that our patients have every chance to heal," Bonnie Jacklin, the chief nursing officer for McKay-Dee Hospital, said in a statement.

"The constant stream of visitors is not allowing our patients the needed rest that is critical in the healing process."

Meanwhile, members of the community continue to find their own ways to support Francom's family and the families of the wounded officers.

A demolition derby will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Golden Spike Events Center in Ogden in honor of the six officers.

Proceeds from the derby will go toward the Bank of Utah accounts set up for each officer and his family.

The center advises that the event will be outdoors, so attendees should plan to dress warmly.

Also, a Facebook page was created Saturday to petition the city to rename the Ogden Amphitheater after Francom.

By 6:30 p.m., about 200 people had "liked" the page. By the same time, more than 400 people had "liked" a post about the idea on a Facebook memorial page dedicated to Francom.

A candlelight vigil for Francom and the wounded officers was held at the amphitheater Thursday. Hundreds of people, including about 100 officers, attended.

There was talk on Francom's Facebook memorial page about bringing the renaming subject up to the Ogden City Council and Mayor Mike Caldwell.

After Ogden Detective Sgt. Marshall White was shot and killed in the line of duty in 1963, the city named its community center after him.

Matthew Stewart, 37, is accused of shooting at Francom, Vanderwarf and the other officers serving the warrant on his home at 3268 Jackson Ave. Stewart suffered nonlife-threatening injuries and remains under armed guard at a local hospital.

His attorney, Randy Richards, said he has not discussed the case with his client yet.

Stewart will not be formally booked into Weber County Jail until he is released from the hospital, said Weber County Attorney Dee Smith. From that point, the jail can hold him for up to 72 hours without charging him.

Smith has called the case against Stewart aggravated murder, which can result in the death penalty.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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