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SLC Police release body cam from fatal officer-involved shooting that began with mental health call

Posted at 6:41 AM, Jul 26, 2019

WARNING: The videos embedded in this story show a fatal shooting. Viewer discretion is advised.

SALT LAKE CITY - Salt Lake City Police showed footage from a fatal officer-involved shooting that began with a mental health call earlier this month.

Michael Brand, 43, was shot and killed July 16.

During Friday's press conference, police said reports indicated he was having a psychotic episode, “going off the rails and being kind of aggressive and threatening” to staff members.

Police released footage from three body cameras, which show several officers and a case worker making their way down the walkway of the fourth floor of the Sunrise Metro Apartments, where Brand lived.

The officers were on either side of the door and the case worker was in front of the door as an officer knocked. Brand opened the door and pointed what police "now believe to be a paintball gun" at the case worker and then the officers.

The videos show the case worker putting her hands up and backing away from Brand as soon as the door opens.

Brand's hand extends out of the doorway holding the paintball gun, and then he steps out and appears to point the paintball gun at the officer on his left side as the case worker takes cover behind that officer.

One of the two officers on the other side of the door draws his weapon and fires several shots. Brand was hit and killed and an officer suffered a minor injury from those shots.

Salt Lake City officers train extensively to prevent friendly fire.

In this case, former Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank said the officer likely did the right thing. He spoke to us from San Francisco.

“It’s an outcome that I don’t know could have been changed in that few seconds that it took place in,“ Burbank said.

Even with the officer and caseworker standing directly behind Brand, Burbank said the officer didn’t have time to reposition.

"To see it happen, he would have, that individual, would have more than likely shot one of those three, had he had a real gun with him,” Burbank said.

Approximately seven seconds elapse in the time between when the officer first knocks on the door and the first shots are fired.

The officer who fired the shots has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigations into the incident.

There is an internal investigation as well as an outside investigation being conducted by Unified Police.

The leave and investigations are all standard procedure in an officer-involved critical incident.

An executive order from the mayor requires Salt Lake City Police to release body cam footage from any officer-involved critical incident within 10 days.