WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — The District Attorney has ruled that an off-duty officer who injured two juvenile suspects during an exchange of gunfire in West Valley City was legally justified in his use of force.
The incident occurred November 7 at an apartment complex near 3300 South and 1250 West in West Valley City.
According to a letter from the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office issued this week, West Valley City PD Officer Aaron Weeks works part-time security for the apartment complex and responded to a call that night about a trespasser sleeping in a stairwell.
Weeks left his apartment in plain clothes but took a handgun, a police radio and handcuffs with him. He did not see the trespasser, but while walking back to his apartment he encountered two juveniles who approached him.
According to the letter from the DA’s Office, Weeks said one of the juveniles pointed a handgun at Weeks and said “gimme what you got”. Officer Weeks drew his own concealed firearm at that time and fired.
The juvenile fired his weapon as well, hitting Weeks in the foot. Weeks fired a total of eight shots, and both juvenile suspects later showed up at a hospital to be treated for gunshot wounds. A 17-year-old was shot once and a 15-year-old suffered two gunshot wounds, but more specific details about their injuries were not available.
Weeks was treated at a hospital and released.
The DA states security footage from the apartment complex was available, though the lighting was not ideal. Still, the DA states these recordings show muzzle flashes as shots were fired and appear to corroborate Weeks’ account of the incident.
The DA states that because the suspect threatened Weeks with deadly force, noting that Weeks reported seeing the suspect’s finger moving toward the trigger of the gun, Weeks’ use of force in response was justified and he will not face criminal charges.