NewsLocal News


Victims, suspect in Salt Lake County Jail shooting identified

South Salt Lake jail shooting
Posted at 12:06 PM, Apr 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 01:13:28-04

SOUTH SALT LAKE — The Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office has identified the two victims and the suspect in Saturday's shooting.

The two deputies who were injured are Deputy Joshua Buerke and Deputy Leland Grossett.

Deputy Buerke was shot in the cheek, and released from the hospital on Saturday. Deputy Grossett was shot in the eye, which he eventually lost. After undergoing surgery, he is now in stable condition.

The suspect, who was shot and killed at the scene, has been identified as 31-year-old Joshua Michael Johnson.

"I want to thank the public for their outpouring of support and well wishes for our deputies," said Sheriff Rosie Rivera. "We ask that the public and media respect the privacy of our deputies and their families during this difficult time."

READ: Utah community reacts to Salt Lake County Sheriff's complex shooting

A motive for the shooting has not yet been established.

Grossett's family issued the following statement through the sheriff's office Sunday evening:

"We appreciate the support of the community and for everyone that has reached out in support of our family at this time.

"Leland underwent surgery yesterday and lost his eye due to his injury. He is doing well and has been moved out of the ICU today. We are thankful that he is alive and looking forward to bringing him home soon.

"Leland's team is amazing. We know that the outcome of this shooting could have been different if it weren't for the team's quick response. We are also grateful for his partner Deputy Joshua Buerke and are relieved to hear that he is home recovering from his injuries.

"One man's life was lost in this shooting and we want to express our condolences to his family. We hope they are able to find peace and know that we harbor no ill will.

"Right now Leland's recovery is our biggest priority. We want to thank the media, community, and other well-wishers in advance for supporting Leland's recovery by respecting our privacy."

Buerke's family released a statement Tuesday afternoon:

"Our family is grateful that Josh is here today. We are thankful for the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and all their support. They have taken great care of our son and we have seen firsthand that they truly are a family.

"Leland put his life on the line along with our son, we are wishing him a speedy recovery and know that he and Josh will be able to lean on each other through their recovery.

"We recognize that a life was lost in this incident and our hearts go out to that family of that suspect.

"Our family knows that Josh is strong, and that this situation will show strength to his colleagues and community. He loves his job and his recovery is going well.

"We want to thank all the agencies that responded to the officer down call, including, UPD, West Valley PD, South Salt Lake Police and Fire, Salt Lake City, and the Intermountain Medical Center Trauma Team."