Utah firing squad executes convicted killer

DRAPER, UT (AP) - Death row inmate Ronnie Lee Gardner died in a barrage of bullets early Friday as Utah carried out its first firing squad execution in 14 years.

Shortly before the shooting, Gardner was strapped into a chair and a team of five marksmen aimed their guns at a white target pinned to his chest.

Gardner was pronounced dead at 12:20 a.m. MDT.

The executioners were all certified police officers who volunteered for the task and remain anonymous.

Gardner was sentenced to death for a 1985 capital murder conviction stemming from the fatal courthouse shooting of attorney Michael Burdell during a failed escape attempt.

Gardner was at the Salt Lake City court facing a 1984 murder charge in the shooting death of a bartender, Melvyn Otterstrom.

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