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Officer justified in 2020 shooting of suicidal man in Holladay

Police-Involved Holladay Shooting.jpg
Posted at 12:26 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-20 14:26:17-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The shooting of a suicidal man in Holladay last summer by a Unified police officer was declared justified by Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill Thursday.

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“In essence, this was a shooting that did not need to happen. But it was a shooting that was protected by the law,” said Gill.

Before he was shot by Officer Dave Jaroscak, Gill said Matthew Hilbelink pointed his gun at officers while sitting in a parking lot on Aug. 8, 2020.

Hilbelink's wife had called 9-1-1 to ask for help with her husband.

Bodycam video shared by Gill shows officers talking to Hilbelink as they stood behind a truck, trying to get him to put down his pistol. The officers ask Hilbelink whether he has any children and about his hobbies.

One officer spoke to Hilbelink about his own bout with PTSD after returning from a military tour in Iraq.

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However, after nearly 30 minutes, when Hilbelink raised his gun and "appeared he was aiming at [an officer's] exposed upper body, face and head," Jaroscak shot Hilbelink in the head.

Hilbelink died days later after being transported to the hospital.