Two dead after man claims a ‘higher power’ directed him to ‘purge’ city according to police

Ogden, Utah: 28-year-old Christian Taele is behind bars at the Weber County Jail on a charge of attempted aggravated murder as of Tuesday, July 12. He is being held without bail and it is not known at this time if additional charges have been filed against him.


On Saturday, July 9, at approximately 7:00 pm police were dispatched on an assault call after witnesses reported observing a man beating another male before taking him into the apartment complex's gym and hanging him from equipment inside.


The 23-year-old victim was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was listed as being in critical condition without any brain activity. It was unclear whether he would survive and investigators were working to contact his immediate family.


Taele was taken into custody at the scene and transported to the police station for questioning.


After the preliminary investigation, law enforcement could only describe the attack as "unprovoked" and "completely random."


During an interview, according to the arrest affidavit seen by The Standard-Examiner, Taele "provided a detailed explanation about his intention to take the victim's life" explaining that "he was directed by a higher power and to purge the city."


During that interview, Taele allegedly confessed to another homicide that had taken place in Spanish Fork on Friday, July 8.


Spanish Fork Police were dispatched to North Park after a body was discovered near a dumpster. That body was later identified as 49-year-old Ryan Hooley and his manner of death was determined to be a homicide. Investigators did not release a cause of death to the public.


Detectives from Spanish Fork interviewed Taele who "confessed to the homicide in Spanish Fork [and] provided exact details of the homicide and crime scene that have not been released to the public," the affidavit continued according to KTUV.


Taele was facing previous charges in the 4th District Court for an incident that took place on May 18, 2022 in Lehi, Utah. According to court records seen by The Standard-Examiner, Taele was charged with disarming a police officer, interfering with an arresting officer and propelling a bodily substance at a peace officer after he was confronted for refusing a pay a fare on the FrontRunner train.


During the confrontation, Taele refused to give his name to the Utah Transportation Authority officer and then allegedly managed to take the officer's stun gun and spat on him.