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Man who attacked officer with shovel shot, killed by police

Posted at 4:10 PM, Jan 08, 2015

SALT LAKE CITY - A man who attacked a police officer with a shovel was shot and killed by police, who were responding to the Avenues area of Salt Lake City due to a homeowner who reported a suspicious person Thursday afternoon.

The incident occurred in the area of Second Avenue and I Street Thursday around 4 p.m., and on Friday the footage captured by the officer's body camera was released. See the link below.

Related story: Watch: Body cam footage from fatal officer-involved shooting in SLC Avenues

Police identified the man who was shot as 42-year-old James Dudley Barker of Salt Lake City.

The person who called police stated the man was going door-to-door in the area and offering to shovel snow from people's sidewalks. There did not appear to be snow on walkways in the area where the shooting occurred.

The caller stated they thought this was the same man they saw in the area Wednesday, and the caller stated that man had been walking around and looking inside cars that day. The caller felt this was suspicious, so they contacted police when they saw the man again Thursday.

When the officer responded, he encountered Barker on the porch of a home in the area. Less than three minutes elapsed before the officer was attacked.

The officer told Barker they had received calls about a suspicious person, and he asked for the man's name or his business license.  Barker refused to provide that information, saying "I'm just doing my business." and  "I'm not going to talk to you."

The conversation continued , but eventually Barker appeared to become angry, especially as the officer pointed out there was no snow in the area and then asked for his name, insisting Barker was required by law to do so. Barker started to shout.

The volume increased as Barker shouted some more and the officer raised his voice in response, saying: "I wouldn't just stop you for no reason, let me explain something to you...."

The audio becomes less distinct, as Barker continues to shout at the officer, who replies: "OK, you need to calm down and quit yelling at me, right now."

Barker insisted the officer needed to calm down, and eventually yelled very loudly: "Go back to your car, I'm doing my business."

Then the officer says into the radio: "Bravo... send me another unit."

Barker tells the officer to calm down, and then there is more shouting. About 20 seconds after the officer had told the man to quit yelling, Barker can be seen on video wielding the shovel with both hands as he attacks the officer. At that point the video tumbles downward.

Officials said it was at this point the officer drew and fired a weapon.

Sgt. Robin Heiden, Salt Lake City police, said the encounter unfolded very quickly.

"Immediately there was an altercation between the two," she said. "The officer was attacked with the shovel and returned fire and killed the male."

Police later stated that the officer involved is recovering from multiple fractured bones.

Police said the incident is under investigation. Police confirmed Thursday night that the officer was wearing a body camera and that it was turned on. Click here for that footage.

Cody Layton was in the area, and he said he heard the shots.

"It was pop, pop, pop," he said.

Layton said he immediately went to see what the commotion was.

"I looked out the window, and I saw an officer with a ball cap on, kind of clutching his arm--and so I knew something was up," he said.

The officer involved has been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation, which is standard procedure in such incidents.

Another officer-involved shooting occurred in Utah Thursday. The later incident occurred in Syracuse, click here for details.