Officer-involved shooting outside Roy convenience store ruled to be justified

Posted at 10:23 PM, Sep 19, 2017

ROY, Utah - “I hope people will understand that these officers did exactly what they had to do under those circumstances and it all happened very quickly,” Weber County Attorney Chris Allred said.

A deadly officer-involved shooting has been ruled justified after two Roy City Police Officers shot and killed a man in a gas station parking lot last February.

A letter given to Roy Police Tuesday afternoon gives a long list of reasons why attorneys believe the use of deadly force is justified in this case.

Body camera footage takes us back to the night of February 21 when two Roy City Police Officers shot and killed 38-year-old Nickolas Sanchez.

Annette Olsen took him in as her son years ago.  She reacted with disbelief when she found out the Weber County Attorney ruled the shooting was justified.  “I just said that's impossible no that's impossible that can't be true,” Olsen said.

According to the documents released by the Weber County Attorney's office, police responded to the convenience store on a trespassing complaint.

That's when a scuffle broke out between police and Sanchez.

One of the officers saw Sanchez reach toward his gun after being warned not to.

Sanchez tried to run away but the officer tackles him.

And that's when his partner fired a shot.

The officer then took Sanchez’s gun and shoots him with it.

“What isn't readily apparent when you watch the video in full speed because everything happens so quickly is that he does reach for that gun," Allred said.  "Also in that video as they're tussling over the gun you can see the gun in his hand as the officer is wrestling to get that."

It's a situation the attorney's office says warranted deadly force.  “Had he not introduced that gun in the equation none of this would have happened."

But others disagree with the ruling.

“There is no justification.  It was unconstitutional.  It was an unconstitutional use of force to use deadly force on this man that is not a threat,” attorney Robert Sykes said.  He is working alongside a lawyer in California to represent Sanchez’s family.

“I don't believe in the little time that took place here that all the things they say happened could have happened. I just don't believe it,” Sykes said.

Sanchez's family says despite his criminal past he had a bright future.   “He was so excited about any little thing and it was fun to watch him grow and work on his life,” Olsen said.

Sanchez's family does plan to sue Roy City Police.

The police department says they are ready for any lawsuit and are confident in today's ruling.

As for those two officers, they were placed on paid administrative leave but Roy City Police's attorney told Fox 13 that they were placed back on duty months ago after an internal investigation with the city.