Utah County Attorney: No criminal charges for man who fatally shot suspect in alleged carjacking

Posted at 5:44 PM, May 14, 2015

UTAH COUNTY – The Utah County Attorney’s Office has ruled that a civilian who fatally shot a man during an alleged carjacking in a Maceys parking lot in Orem on May 2 will not be charged for his use of lethal force.

According to a press release issued Thursday, the Utah County Attorney’s Office has reviewed the evidence and determined that no criminal charges will be filed against the man who fired his weapon.

The release states that 26-year-old Taulagi Matafeo was attempting to carjack a vehicle in Orem, and as the female victim screamed for help another man who was lawfully carrying a concealed firearm heard her cries and came to help.

The release states that civilian “confronted Matafeo with his firearm drawn. Matafeo exited the vehicle he was attempting to take by force, lunged at the civilian and was able to grab hold of the civilian’s firearm, at which time the civilian pulled the trigger, firing one shot, which struck Matafeo in the chest.”

The press release cites a portion of Utah law, which states “a person is justified in using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury only if the person reasonably believes that force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to the person or a third person as a result of another’s imminent use of unlawful force, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”

Authorities have not identified the civilian who fired his weapon.

The release notes the term “forcible felony” includes the crimes of aggravated assault and robbery. Matafeo allegedly carjacked the vehicle after fleeing from police who responded to reports of an altercation at an apartment complex. Click here for details on the incident and audio from the 911 call, as well as a statement from Matafeo’s family.