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Police say man shot, killed by deputy had pointed gun at police

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Posted at 7:30 AM, Dec 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-29 13:58:21-05

TOOELE COUNTY, Utah -- A 28-year-old man is dead after an officer-involved shooting in Stansbury Park, officials said Sunday morning.

At approximately 4 a.m., a sergeant with the Tooele County Sheriff's Office and a Utah Highway Patrol trooper responded to a medical call at Aberdeen Lane and Merion Drive, with the report stating a man had stepped on glass.

As they approached the home, the sergeant and trooper received information that an argument had taken place and that there was a gun inside the residence, said Tooele County Sheriff Frank Park.

When they arrived on scene, Park said they found Nicholas McGehee with a cut foot and officers could see the man was holding a shotgun while arguing with his wife.

Police were able to get the woman out of the area safely. The sergeant retreated to his vehicle when McGehee came back out with a handgun. Park said McGehee did not put the weapon down when asked.

"The deputy told him three times to put the gun down," Park said. "The gentlemen pointed the gun at the deputy, and at that time, the deputy returned fire, by shooting the individual."

The sergeant fired three times. McGehee was pronounced dead on scene.

Neither the sergeant or the trooper were injured.

"You go on a mundane call like a medical -- you know -- going in to help somebody and all of a sudden it turns completely around and now you're facing a gun," Park said. "Spur of the moment things happen like that quite often. Hopefully we train them to react."

Richard Gibson lives nearby, and he said they heard the shots but didn't know what was going on.

“We heard what sounded like three shots, 'boom, boom, boom,'" he said. "We weren’t sure if it was shots or fireworks."

"Task Force Marne commanding general, Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, shakes hands with, Spc. Nicholas McGehee, a native of Sanford, N.C. and “Golden Dragon” Soldier with 1st Battalion, 14th Infantry, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade, 25th Infantry Division out of Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, after pinning him with the military’s oldest award still given to servicemembers, The Purple Heart, during a ceremony on Contingency Operating Site Warrior, Kirkuk, Iraq, Oct. 7."McGehee was shot and killed in an encounter with police in Tooele County on December 28. Image courtesy Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System.

Gibson tells FOX 13 News that McGehee was a recruiter for the Army and had been awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded overseas. Gibson said McGehee was the one who recruited Gibson's son to serve.

“He’d come over here and thank me for my service," Gibson said. "He knew that I was a veteran, and, like I said, very patriotic. We flew the flag on Veterans Day, and he flew the flag all of the time."

Gibson said the incident makes him feel sad for everyone involved, especially McGehee's wife and family as well as the deputy involved.

“Just shocked really," he said. "It was kind of unbelievable that it happened to somebody this close and somebody you knew. It’s really too bad."

The sergeant, who has been on the force for more than a decade, has been put on paid administrative leave.

The Utah Department of Public Safety State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.

McGehee did not have a prior criminal history with Tooele County.

The sergeant was wearing a body camera but it was not turned on.

The sheriff's office started wearing the cameras a week ago. Officials say the protocol at this point is to not turn them on during a medical call due to their personal nature and due to privacy laws relating to health care.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.