SALT LAKE CITY — On April 10, two deputies with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s office were shot in the face during a shooting outside the Sheriff’s office complex.
The man who fired at the deputies was shot and killed.
Friday, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill released new information about that shooting as well as footage of the incident.
While the true purpose of Friday’s news conference was to rule that the officers were justified in shooting the man, Gill also wanted to show just how dangerous this altercation actually was.
“This was a terrible, terrible situation. There was a loss of life and our condolences go out,” Gill said, adding “but also I want to acknowledge just the work of these two deputies who found themselves in this incredible situation.”
The findings are that the deputies were patrolling their headquarters and a lone security camera captured what happened.
The two stopped to talk to an individual later identified as Joshua Johnson who was sitting on the lawn.
When he stood up, the deputies noticed a magazine from a handgun dropped on the ground and as he was picking it up, the officers moved to detain Johnson when he started to fight back.
“After struggling with him for approximately 15 to 20 seconds, Mr. Johnson produced a handgun hitting deputy Burke in the right side of his face and deputy Grossett in his left eye,” Gill said while explaining that in a later interview, Grossett said “I saw the gun and I turned my head to say ‘gun’ and then everything went black, there was a ringing in my ears. I couldn’t hear anything, I couldn't see anything.”
One bullet hit both officers in the face which was the only bullet that was left in the gun.
In the magazine that was dropped there were 15 more bullets.
The gun was loaded with unusual ammo that is soft armor piercing and is very dangerous.
“This is a very dangerous weapon with the kind of cartridges that this had.”
The gun was stolen along with two other weapons that haven’t been recovered.
Sheriff Rosie Rivera gave an update on the two deputies' recoveries.
“Our two deputies have been impacted for the rest of their lives but also the whole sheriff's office because it just rocked the sheriff's office,” she said. “This is something that has never happened.”
Sheriff Rivera said Deputy Burke has returned to work with another department in their patrol division.
Deputy Grossett has yet to return to his job because of his injuries but hopes to return soon.