(KUTV) — Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill explained the use of deadly force by an officer during the pursuit of a robbery suspect on May 28, 2018.
Officers Shepherd and Whitehead with the West Jordan Police Department both shot their guns after a 7-Eleven robbery.
Utah officers cleared in shooting death of man who brandished pellet gun in May
The suspect was killed after he allegedly robbed the convenience store, stole a police truck, hit civilian cars and brandished a handgun.
Two shots were fired by officers and one bullet hit the suspect, Gill stated at the press conference.
The DA also showed the officers body cam footage from the incident, which shows the suspect brandishing a handgun.
A citizen moved their vehicle in front of one of the officers to protect him from the suspect, Gill explained.
SALT LAKE CITY — The weapon police say Michael Glad pointed at them in May was only a pellet gun, but they didnt know that before they shot and killed the 23 year old.
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said Thursday he wont file criminal charges against the pair of West Jordan officers who together fired at least four shots at Glad after he robbed a 7-Eleven at gunpoint, got in the drivers seat of an empty police truck and drove toward officers trying to contain him.
The officers, Josh Whitehead and Tyrell Shepherd, returned to work within a few weeks of the shooting, said West Jordan Police Sgt. J.C. Holt, who called the death "tragic." The two men declined to speak with investigators, Gill said, and its not certain who fired the fatal gunshot.
Police body camera video shows that in the moments before the gunfire on May 28, Steve Hutchings, a different West Jordan officer, backed away from his truck and from a man with a backpack who could be seen on the sidewalk of 6200 South near 4000 West.
Hutchings spotted Glad walking down the street about 3 p.m., noting he matched a description of the robbery suspect, police said at the time.
"Put the gun down, man," the officer is heard saying in the recording, eventually retreating to the far side of a suburban street. He calls for backup and continues to urge Glad to drop the gun after Glad gets in his car.
Hutchings decision not to use deadly force as he tried to de-escalate the encounter demonstrated "incredible composure, incredible compassion," Gill said.
The recordings shown by Gill Thursday at a news conference did not show Glad pointing a weapon at Hutchings, though other footage that would not play properly shows he did raise the gun, Gill said.
Despite Hutchings commands, the police truck takes off and drives a short distance toward other officers who arrived and attempted to set up a barricade at an intersection, the video shows, and four shots can be heard. Gill said the truck narrowly missed an officer.
At one point, the video footage shows a silver truck drive toward Hutchings and shield him from the man in the police truck. Everyone appreciates good Samaritans, Gill said, but the decision to intervene put the driver in danger.
Before Glads fatal encounter with police, he pulled a black bandana over his face, walked into a 7-Eleven at 6200 S. Dixie Drive (3620 West), brandished a gun and walked out with $336 in cash and three packs of cigarettes, the store clerk told investigators, according to the review.
Even though Whitehead and Shepherd declined to speak with investigators, its likely a jury would find the officers needed to use deadly force to prevent death or injury to themselves or others, based on body camera video, interviews with witnesses and other evidence, Gill said.
Unified police investigated the shooting. They found that Glads weapon was a pellet gun, but it was black, had no markings and appeared to officers to be a real gun, Gill said.
Glads minor criminal history includes a 2016 misdemeanor disorderly conduct conviction in Summit County Justice Court. He was placed on probation and Valley Behavioral Health noted he Glad had been "attending regular therapy," court records show.