Father of suspect shot by police says officer’s actions weren’t justified

Posted at 9:52 PM, Jul 12, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-12 23:52:23-04

WEST JORDAN, Utah -- A father is desperate for answers after his son was shot while trying to run from West Jordan Police.

“I’m just absolutely opposed to what happened,” John Peterson said. “I don’t care if it’s my son or someone else’s son: That shouldn’t of happened.”

Peterson’s son, 31-year-old Timothy Peterson, is recovering at Intermountain Medical Center. He was shot at Jordan Landing around 12:30 a.m. Thursday.

Police said Peterson was wanted on multiple misdemeanor warrants and had made threats toward police. When the officer on duty attempted to arrest him, Peterson ran. There was a friend with him at the time.

Sgt. Dan Roberts of the West Jordan Police Department would not say why the officer fired at Peterson.

"We recovered a number of weapons on the scene but we are not releasing the details as to what kind of weapons they were,” Roberts said.

Peterson said his son’s version of the story doesn’t coincide with what police are saying.

Peterson said: “From my understanding, the police officer yelled, ‘ He’s got a gun,’ and started firing at him, he said he stopped and put his hands above [his head] and said, ‘I don’t have a gun,’ and the officer shot him... According to his friend and according to my son, they did not have any weapons.”

Peterson said he was not permitted to see his son for more than 48 hours.

“Basically they told me I would either leave right then or be arrested,” Peterson said. “They escorted me right out of the hospital and told me if I came back I would be arrested.”

West Jordan Police said they were conducting an investigation, which remains ongoing.

“As of standard protocol, Mr. Peterson was in our custody and we don't allow visitors, and in this particular incident, Mr. Peterson didn't want any visitors: specifically his father,” Roberts said.

Peterson said his family is desperate for answers in this case and they will do everything they can to get them.

"I'm not making any excuse for my son, not telling who he is, or what he’s done, or turning and running, but I don’t believe that justifies the shooting,” Peterson said. "If I have it my way there is going to be some legal action against West Jordan City. I’m probably going to file some legal action against the hospital.”

Police have yet to charge Timothy Peterson regarding Thursday’s pursuit. They are waiting for his release from the hospital.

Peterson was arrested before back in 2003 on burglary and theft charges.