DA’s Office: SLC officer’s use of deadly force against violent burglar justified

Posted at 11:04 AM, Oct 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-20 00:19:57-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office has found a Salt Lake City police officer’s use of deadly force against a violent burglar last month was justified.

Police said Robert Berger, 48, broke into a home on the 800 South block of Roberta Street. He was forced out by the family living there. and then went down the street and broke into the home of two sisters, 27-year-old Bre Lasley and 21-year-old Kayli Lasley.

Salt Lake City police have recognized K-9 Officer Ben Hone for saving the lives of the sisters.

Salt Lake City K-9 Officer Ben Hone

Salt Lake City K-9 Officer Ben Hone

Police say Hone arrived in the area and heard Kayli Lasley crying for help. He then ran into the home and downstairs into the basement.

“He saw Breann, bloody from her stabbing injuries and being held at knifepoint by Roger Berger,” police say. “When Roger Berger did not comply with Officer Hone’s commands to drop the knife, Officer Hone fire one fatal shot.”

In an interview with FOX 13, the Lasley sisters recounted their experience. They said Berger entered the home through Bre Lasley’s bedroom window and threatened to kill her. Bre tried to call 911, but Berger attacked, she said.

During the sisters’ struggle with Berger, Bre Lasley was stabbed in the stomach and leg.

“He was kneeling on top of me and he was kneeling on both of my arms and he pulled his knife up and he told me he was going to kill me,” Bre Lasley said.

Then she heard someone coming down the stairs.

“That’s when I saw the officer and he was our angel,” Bre Lasley said through tears. “I looked at the officer and his eyes and he was so professional and calm and I said, ‘officer, he’s going to kill me!'”

Kayli Lasley said the officer warned the suspect three times to put down the knife but he refused.

“I felt the suspect tighten as if he’s going to cut me and that’s when the officer took his life and saved mine,” Bre Lasley said.

The sisters say the officer fired a single shot at Berger, fatally hitting him in the head.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said the officer’s actions were heroic and he saved at least one life that day.