updated 7/7/2007 12:18:09 AM ET 2007-07-07T04:18:09

An armed man who dashed into a house Friday was fatally shot by an officer while holding a hostage around the neck, police said.

The man refused to drop his gun and shouted that he would rather die than return to prison, said Detective Jeff Bedard, a Salt Lake City police spokesman.

No one else was hurt.

“I heard no more than one gunshot, so they took him out pretty quick,” said Jayme Chilberti, who lives across the street and watched from her front porch.

The man, whom police identified as 45-year-old Stephen Mark Sickler, tried to steal a couple’s car a little after noon, but the driver resisted, Bedard said.

He ran a few blocks and entered a home, where he took a man and woman hostage, Bedard said. The male hostage eventually escaped.

Police spent 30 minutes trying to coax Sickler to release the woman and surrender, but he repeatedly refused, Bedard said.

Officers surrounding the home could see Sickler with an arm around her neck and a handgun pointed to her head, the detective said.

Sickler was shot while standing near a doorway at the rear of the home.

“At some point one of our officers had a clear shot at the suspect ... hit the suspect in the head and the suspect died,” Bedard said.

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