Investigators: Deputy was justified in fatal Millard Co. shooting

Posted at 6:39 PM, Dec 14, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-14 20:39:51-05

MILLARD COUNTY, Utah – An investigation has found a Millard County Sheriff’s deputy was justified in the fatal October shooting of Corey Kanosh. The findings were released by the Millard County Attorney on Friday.

The findings were released a day after Kanosh’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in the case.

According to the released findings, the incident started just after 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 15, 2012, when Kanosh’s mother Marlene Pikyavit reported to dispatchers that Kanosh and another man identified as Dana Harnes had taken her vehicle without permission and were possibly near the Kanosh Paiute Indian Reservation.

[PDF: Corey Kanosh investigation]

Millard County Sheriff’s Deputy Dale Josse, who was in the area, was asked to drive to the Kanosh town to assist with efforts in the incident. While there, the findings said, Josse was told that Kanosh had a criminal history; Josse also knew Kanosh from previous incidents.

At around 10:15 p.m., Josse located the suspect vehicle in Kanosh and followed it north. When Josse turned on his sirens and lights, the suspect vehicle -driven by Harnes at the time – sped up, and a high-speed pursuit ensued.

At one point, the suspect vehicle attempted to ram Josse’s patrol car, the findings said, and Josse was able to identify the passenger in the suspect vehicle as Kanosh.

During the chase, Josse reportedly spotted Kanosh get out of the vehicle and grab several items, now identified as the remainder of a case of beer and something in his other hand, now determined to likely be a cell phone.

According to the investigation, Josse then followed Kanosh on foot, identifying himself as an officer and asking several times for him to stop.

At one point during the chase, Josse was able to get within 10 feet of Kanosh and fired his stun gun. The gun struck Kanosh but appeared to have no effect on him; it was later determined that the stun gun prongs had gotten stuck in Kanosh’s clothes and never hit his body.

A short time later, Kanosh tripped, and Josse tried to restrain him, noting that he smelled alcohol when he came in contact with Kanosh. Josse gave numerous commands for Kanosh to show his hands, but Kanosh reportedly resisted.

At one point, Kanosh reportedly grabbed Josse by the throat and Josse reported fearing for his life during the altercation. Josse grabbed his weapon from his holster and shot Kanosh twice from his hip.

Utah County Sheriff’s Office detectives were called in to investigate the shooting and determined that the evidence at the scene and autopsy results corroborated Josse’s report of the incident. Interviews with Dep. Mike Peacock, who was also involved in the chase, corroborated Josse’s story.

The Utah County investigators concluded that Josse was justified in the fatal shooting.