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6 Latter-day Saint Missionaries Held at Gunpoint in Utah

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According to a news report from local Utah news station KSL, six Latter-day Saint missionaries experienced a harrowing situation Thursday night when a man they were teaching pointed a gun at them and refused to let them leave.

The incident occurred in West Valley City, Utah, at approximately 8:30 p.m. The missionaries, who have not been identified, visited 45-year-old Paul Gutierrez Marquez for a teaching appointment. After realizing something wasn’t right, the missionaries attempted to leave the home after ten minutes. However, Marquez brandishes a firearm and began to display dangerous behavior, drinking alcohol and pointing the gun at the missionaries, refusing to let them leave.

West Valley Police Sgt. Sean McCarthy stated Marquez’s behavior was erratic, asking calm questions about missionary work one minute, then making threats the next. “It would continue over and over where he would be calm one moment, then he’d be very aggressive and angry,” McCarthy said.

The missionaries were kept in the home by Marquez for over an hour until they were able to calm him down and leave the residence. They immediately called 911 and their mission president to report the incident.  Marquez was arrested and is currently being investigated for multiple counts of aggravated kidnapping and assault.

“We are grateful these six missionaries were able to calmly and appropriately deal with this situation and leave without injury. The church is working to provide any needed support and counseling to them as they recover from this alarming ordeal,” church spokesman Daniel Woodruff said in a statement Friday.

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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