Witness in Avenues officer-involved shooting reacts to newly released video

Posted at 10:23 PM, Jan 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-12 00:23:09-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- A video released one year after a deadly police shooting in the Salt Lake City Avenues shows another angle of an encounter between James Barker and Officer Matthew Taylor.

A former Davis County Sheriff claims this video appears to show the officer shooting Barker in the back, after he was handcuffed.

The Salt Lake District Attorney confirms he's taking another look at the officer-involved shooting.

FOX13 News spoke with one of the witnesses of the shooting and what he thinks about the new video and allegations.

“From the time they jumped off the porch to the time he shot him and flipped him over that's like a movie running in my head,” said Richard Grow who witnessed the fatal shooting.

Grow was driving in the Avenues Jan. 8, 2015, when two men fighting caught his eye. After seconds of struggling Grow said one man pulled something off his side.

“Turned out to be pulling a gun out of the holster and pulled it on the ground and shot him,” Grow said.

Grow said he heard three gun shots and standing only 30 feet away he watched the aftermath of the fatal shooting.

“He stood up flipped the man over and handcuffed him the struggle was over at that point the fellow stopped moving I presumed he was dead at that point,” Grow said.

Grow has replayed the shooting in his mind but last Friday he saw it for the first time on video.

“It's good to see something confirmed the end of the incident,” Grow said.

Grow disputes what former Davis County Sheriff William Lawrence claims, saying there's no way the officer shot Barker in the back.

“He was not shooting him. He was on the ground motionless, most likely dead at that point,” Grow said.

Grow said the problem is there is body camera footage of the first interactions, the new video shows the aftermath but not the key seconds in between.

“It's too bad there's not a tape of the middle,” Grow said.

We asked former federal prosecutor Brett Tolman to give his thoughts on the video.

“You don't see the sudden jerky reactions when you fire a handgun and most of the handguns that are carried by law enforcement has recoil and you can't see that in his hands or his body in the video,” Tolman said.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said he will have a decision by the end of the week on whether the video changes his decision last year of ruling the shooting justified.