Police identify suspect killed in Tooele County officer-involved shooting

Posted at 1:14 PM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 15:14:36-05

ARAGONITE, Utah —Police have identified the man who was shot and killed Sunday in an incident at a hazardous waste facility in Tooele County.

Barry Michael Zumwalt, 36, of West Valley City, was shot after he pointed a gun at a UHP trooper and a Tooele County deputy, according to a statement by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. Spencer Cannon of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office said officers were dispatched to Clean Harbors around 6:30 a.m. on reports of someone making threats at the company’s incineration facility.

The facility operates in Aragonite, which is a ghost town in Tooele County, and is about 60 miles west of Tooele via I-80.

“There was some information that he was threatening to blow up the propane tanks at the facility, nothing specific as to how he was going to accomplish that,” said Tooele County Sheriff Paul Wimmer.

Police said Zumwalt followed contractors into a restricted, fenced-in area, and when workers told Zumwalt to leave he instigated a small physical altercation. A Utah Highway Patrol trooper and a Tooele County Sheriff’s deputy arrived on scene a short time later.

“He came towards them, he had the gun and they saw a rifle as well,” Sgt. Cannon said of the scene those officers found upon arrival. “He threatened them with those firearms, and they shot at the suspect.”

The suspect suffered fatal wounds, though it is not clear if he was hit by gunfire from one or both of the officers. Cannon was certain, however, the man didn’t shoot himself.

The facility was put on lockdown for some time after the incident.

“We’ve got some employees out here, some contractors, who are pretty shaken up too because they’re people who witnessed what happened,” Cannon said. “And you don’t go to work expecting to see somebody threaten law enforcement officers, and then dying right in front of you.”

The motive for the incident remains under investigation.

It is standard procedure under Utah law for outside agencies to investigate officer-involved shootings, which is why Cannon and the Utah County Sheriff’s Office are providing information regarding the incident in Tooele County.