[Editor's Note: Again this year, we are trying to track all deaths directly attributable to US domestic drug law enforcement operations. We can use your help. Let us know if you come across an incident that you think qualifies. To see the 2011 drug war deaths, go here.]
According to the Deseret News, citing police sources, Agent Francom died at the Ogden Regional Medical Center early last Thursday. He was assigned to the Weber-Morgan Metro Narcotics Strike Force when he was killed.
Twelve members of the strike force were attempting to serve a warrant when a gun battle erupted. Police said they were doing a "knock and enter" warrant, meaning they would knock on the door and enter if no one responded. When the entered the residence, they were met with gunfire. They later found the resident wounded and hiding in a shed.
The resident and suspected shooter is Matthew David Stewart, 37, who worked a midnight shift at a local Walmart and whose previous criminal record consisted of a misdemeanor conviction for driving without insurance in 2005 and a citation for not wearing a seat belt in 2004.
Police did not specify what the warrant was for, but Stewart's father, Michael Stewart, told the Deseret News his son had "mental difficulties" and was self-medicating with marijuana. The elder Stewart also said he believed his son was growing marijuana, but only for himself. He added that Stewart was probably sleeping before going to work when the 8:40 pm raid happened and he reacted the way he did because he awoke to people in his house.
Police are not releasing further details on the raid pending completion of their internal investigations.