OGDEN -- The Ogden Police Department has recommended charging Jason Valdez, 36, with trying to kill two SWAT team officers while holding a woman hostage.
Valdez barricaded himself and Veronica Jensen, 27, in his room at the Western Colony Inn after police tried to serve him with a felony drug-related warrant last Friday night.
The armed man's 16-hour standoff with police ended with SWAT team members making an explosive entry into the room and removing Jensen after negotiations broke down.
As SWAT members moved in, Valdez shot at and almost hit two team members, said Ogden Assistant Police Chief Randy Watt. Valdez also shot himself in the chest, police said.
"He had an end state in mind that would culminate in his own death," Watt said.
The Weber County Attorney's Office is screening the case to potentially charge Valdez with two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of aggravated kidnapping, Watt said.
Although Jensen did not initially consider herself a hostage, it became clear in the final hours of the standoff that she was one, Watt said.
At the start, she was assisting Valdez in his obstruction of justice and did not consider herself a hostage. But as the standoff continued, her place in it changed, he said.
"She was a hostage ... whether she recognized it or not," Watt said. Her life was top priority for police, he said.
Jensen has said that she never thought Valdez was going to hurt her.
Negotiations revolved around her release. Valdez wanted to talk to his 14-year-old son, who is in correctional custody, so negotiators arranged for that phone call to happen if he released Jensen unharmed.
But each time they came close to getting Jensen out, Valdez would change his mind, Watt said.
Valdez eventually set a deadline for Jensen's release late into the standoff, but he failed to meet his deadline and did something that caused SWAT team members to believe Jensen was in imminent danger. As a result, SWAT team members blew their way into the room to secure her by force.
Watt could not comment on what Valdez did that caused police to move in.
Valdez remains in stable but critical condition and on a ventilator at McKay-Dee Hospital under 24-hour guard. The floor he is on is also on lockdown.
Charges against Valdez will likely be filed today, said Ogden Police Detective Brian Eynon.
When announcing what Valdez's charges may be at a news conference Thursday afternoon, Watt took the opportunity to address the way police had left the rooms after clearing the scene.
Both Valdez's room and an adjacent room were damaged. The walls have holes in them, debris was left on the floor and the windows of Valdez's room were blown out.
"The damage was unfortunate but unavoidable," Watt said.
An extreme situation calls for extreme measures, he said.
Two water bottles filled with urine were left in the adjacent room. SWAT team members did not have working facilities for 12 hours because utilities were shut off early into the operation. They were fatigued, had just been shot at and forgot to remove the bottles, Watt said.
"That's a lick on us, and we accept it."
Watt said he was proud of the resolution to the standoff.
"It was a harrowing, trying event ... that can turn out a lot worse," he said.
After rescuing Jensen, police found methamphetamine in her bra, Watts said, and she may face charges in the future.
She was arrested May 31 in the same motel parking lot for heroin possession. When police searched her person, they found methamphetamine on her that time, too, Watt said.
He said Valdez and Jensen know each other from the same drug circle.