SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill determined the use of deadly force by a Salt Lake City police officer on July 20, 2021 to be a lawful act of self-defense or defense of others.
On August 4, 2021, the Salt Lake City Police Department released body cam video showing the standoff between officers and a man threatening to commit suicide.
Following the events outside the apartment at 1660 West 800 North, Navada Escholt, 42, was found dead inside his home.
District Attorney Gill wrote, "the SLCPD officer who used deadly force did so reasonably and only after the involved officer, other SLCPD officers, and members of the public were placed at risk of death of serious bodily injury after being shot at."
In the body cam video, one of the officers could be overheard saying that he believed he had previously responded to a call at the same house.
Escholt then left the building and fired a shot towards the officers, forcing them to take cover and fire a single shot towards the building.
One minute later, Escholt fired a second shot from inside the building, which an officer said he heard "fly past him."
Following the gunfire, additional units were called to the scene as the standoff continued. Hours later, police were able to contain the apartment where they found Escholt dead inside.
Chief Mike Brown released the following statement Friday:
“This situation ended tragically with a death by suicide. It reminds us that we must continue to invest in more services and resources that support mental health care for our community. After a careful analysis of the facts in this case, and reviewing the body worn camera, I am proud of our officers who demonstrated compassion, restraint and excellent policing. They did everything possible to keep things from escalating and to provide help to a person in a mental health crisis.”
Detectives assigned to the West Jordan Police Department, Taylorsville City Police Department and Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office conducted an independent investigation into the deadly use of force, as required by Utah law.
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, help is available 24/7 by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or visiting suicidepreventionlifeline.org