SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office has ruled that an officer’s use of deadly force during an incident in June was justified.
The incident occurred in the early morning hours of June 15. Officers from the Unified Police Department were initially called to a report of a shooting at a bar on 4242 S State Street around 12:30 a.m.
Witnesses told police a man, later identified as Andrew Thomas, was involved in the shooting and that he left the bar in a silver Hyundai Elantra.
Police dispatchers broadcast a description of the vehicle and the license plate number to officers in the area. An officer with the West Jordan Police Department spotted the Elantra and followed it into the driveway of a Taylorsville home near 2500 Dutch Draw Drive.
According to the news release, Thomas got out of the vehicle and walked toward the home, ignoring the West Jordan officer’s commands to stop. Thomas was also ordered to show his hands, but he kept them inside the waistband of his pants and appeared to be “fidgeting with something.”
The officer told investigators he saw Thomas running toward with his hands down his waistband. The officer believed Thomas was retrieving a gun from his pants, so he opened fire on Thomas, hitting him several times.
The officer called for medical help for Thomas. More officers from West Jordan and UPD responded to the scene and handcuffed Thomas. Medical responders cut Thomas’ pants open to assess his injuries. Two of the officers who responded to the scene said they saw a handgun fall out when Thomas’ pants were cut open. The handgun was found with a partially expended cartridge lodged in the ejection port.
Thomas was treated for his injuries and survived the incident.