Vanderwarf cleared to go back to work soon

Feb 3 2012 - 7:31am



OGDEN -- A Roy police officer who was among five lawmen wounded in a deadly gun battle Jan. 4 might return to work next week.

Jason Vanderwarf, who has been on administrative leave, will tentatively rejoin the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force on Monday, said Roy Police spokeswoman Anna Bond.

Vanderwarf and four other officers were wounded when the strike force attempted to serve a search warrant at the home of Matthew David Stewart, 37, at 3268 Jackson Ave.

Ogden Police Officer Jared Francom, also a strike force agent, was killed in the shootout.

Seven additional Ogden officers, who weren't wounded but were placed on administrative leave after firing their weapons outside Stewart's home during the shootout, were eligible to return to work as of Wednesday, depending on their scheduled shifts, Interim Police Chief Wayne Tarwater said Thursday.

An internal review found that officers followed police department procedures in response to the incident, he said.

Stewart was also wounded in the shootout. He is being held in Weber County Jail without bond, charged with aggravated murder -- which could bring the death penalty -- seven counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of production of a controlled substance in a drug-free zone.

The other injured officers are Ogden Officer Michael Rounkles, wounded when he tried to help the injured agents; strike force agents Shawn Grogan and Kasey Burrell, of the Ogden Police Department; and Sgt. Nate Hutchinson, of the Weber County Sheriff's Office.

Those four officers have not yet returned to work.

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