A Cedar City man is in custody after police say he threatened to kill polygamists and officers before committing “suicide by cop” at a local grocery store.

On Friday, 5th District Court in Iron County charged Brian Richie Davenport, 44, with a second-degree felony of making a threat of

Cedar City Police Sgt. Clint Pollock told ABC4 News officers received an anonymous tip that Davenport made the threats in a series of Facebook posts he wrote on Wednesday.

Pollock said the suspect wrote he planned to come to Lin’s Market on North Main Street and shoot polygamists and first responding officers before committing suicide by being shot by backup officers.

Pollock said it’s difficult to decipher what is a credible threat of violence, so they’ll thoroughly investigate each one; but, law enforcement will pay special attention when suspects give specifics of the crime: the time, place, and details of what they intend to do.

“He said he wanted to kill police officers and then be killed by police officers, so we’ll take a different approach with those,” Pollock said. “We don’t want to force an issue if he hasn’t followed through with those threats, and we don’t want to show up and have him force us to shoot him.”

The Cedar City Police Department deployed undercover officers to surveil Davenport’s home with unmarked cars so they wouldn’t alarm him. According to Pollock, law enforcement didn’t notice anything suspicious. Law enforcement immediately contacted management at Lin’s, who decided to close the store Wednesday evening until the next morning to protect their staff and customers.

Shoppers ABC4 News spoke with Monday said they’re concerned with the suspect’s mental health while other patrons expressed anger anyone would target a specific population in the community.

“I’m a believer in loving everybody, loving your neighbor and having respect for those you don’t agree with,” said Cedar City Resident Steven Nixon.

Thursday morning, police said they made contact with Davenport and brought several backup officers in case he had firearms at his home. The suspect reportedly told police in an interview he becomes “very emotional” when he’s intoxicated and was in that state when he made the threats.

“We’re hoping that some mental health professionals will be involved,” Pollock said. “But we’re going to be aware of him now, especially because of the magnitude of threats he made.”

Pollock said he wants to remind the public that threatening to harm or kill people or their property when posting on social media or sending messages is a crime.

Davenport is being held in jail without bail, officials said. Cedar City Police said they don’t believe Davenport had any previous criminal history in Utah.

Story provided by our news partners at ABC 4 News.

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