DA rules officers’ use of deadly force justified in July shooting

Posted at 3:23 PM, Sep 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-26 17:23:26-04

SALT LAKE CITY – The actions of two officers involved in the fatal shooting of a man in July have been reviewed, and the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office has ruled their use of deadly force was justified.

Officers were responding to a domestic violence situation/DUI call at an apartment complex in the area of 360 East 4055 South in Millcreek on July 25 when they encountered Nicholas Lister, who police said was known to have guns and who was refusing to come outside of the home.

According to the DA’s Office, an individual involved in the incident told officers Lister had, “threatened to shoot police if they came inside the apartment.”

Police negotiated for about an hour without success. Officials said back in July that they were preparing to leave because they didn’t want to escalate the situation, but that’s when Lister said he was coming out while armed.

“We initially started to scale-back, we didn’t want to push this issue and escalate the situation,” Lt. Jason Hoyal of the Unified Police Department said in July. “However, as we were starting to do that, the suspect told our officer over the phone that he was coming out, that he had a gun. The officer told him repeatedly not to do that. However, a short time later, the suspect came out on to his balcony, pointed a gun in the direction of our officers, fired at least one round, and our officers returned fire. The suspect passed away there at the scene.”

The release from the DA’s office states officers Gary Evans and Shane Franchow of the Unified Police Department were among those who responded. The release states the two fired their weapons after Lister pointed a shotgun in the direction of the two officers.

The officers’ actions were ruled to be legally justified.

Related story: Man killed after firing shot in direction of police, officers return fire