DA Sim Gill: Use of force justified in Feb. shooting of teen at shelter

Posted at 10:46 AM, Aug 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-08 22:06:12-04

SALT LAKE CITY - Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill said officers' use of force in shooting 17-year-old Abdi Mohamed at a shelter downtown back in February is justified.

Gill also said his office is seeking to have Mohamed tried as an adult.

According to Salt Lake City Police, back on February 27, two men were seen attacking a victim with metal objects near the Road Home.

Officers ordered the men to stop; one did, the other, Mohamed, did not.

Police shot Mohamed four times.

He was put in a medically-induced coma to recover and has been awake, communicating with family since March.

Authorities have not released the body cam footage of the shooting.

Gill previously told Fox 13 that releasing the footage would compromise the integrity of the investigation.

He said the earliest it might be released is when the investigation is complete.

Gill said his decision was based on witness statements, video, photographs and state statutes. He also retained a third-party opinion of the investigation: Martinelli and Associates, Justice and Forensic Consulting, Inc.

Its office also concluded the deadly force was justified.

Gill is pressing two charges against Mohamed, including aggravated robbery and possession of a controlled substance.

Mohamed has a first court appearance on Aug. 10.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown released a statement thanking the DA and the third party for their thorough investigation.

He said in part, “… We will continue to have open dialogue with our community members to further build upon our relationships. We understand that as these conversations occur that this is a journey, and not a destination."

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski said she believes the city is working toward a more trusting relationship between its law enforcement and its community.

“I think the people in this community know they are being heard,” Biskupski said. “I think they know we are in this together. That in order for change to happen, not just here but across the country, we have to work together.”