A Sandy police officer shot a suicidal man seconds after he was confronted, a bodycam shows

Sandy Police Chief Greg Severson said Friday his officers were trained to use only deadly force in unassisted confrontations.

(Sandy Police Department) In this screenshot from police bodycam video, a Sandy officer points his gun at Dylan Murphy, 33, on March 26, 2023. Murphy later died as a result of the shooting.

A Sandy police officer shot and killed an allegedly suicidal man Man about seven seconds after ordering 33-year-old shows his hands, body camera footage released on Friday.

The man’s brother had called police for help around 1 a.m. on March 26, urging an officer to respond. Dylan Murphy had left a home in Sandy while seriously injured, suicidal and in a mental health crisis, police said.

The responding officer found Murphy at 1000 East near 11640 South, officials said. When the officer called him, Murphy appeared unresponsive and continued walking, body camera footage shows.

The officer told police that Murphy had his right hand hidden in a jacket, and officials said Friday the family wasn’t sure if Murphy had a gun at the time — because Murphy injured himself earlier in the evening, officials said .

About a minute and a half after the officer began following Murphy in his squad car, Murphy can be seen turning and walking towards him the official. The officer then gets out of his car and orders Murphy to show his hands.

Murphy runs toward the officer, body cam footage shows, and the officer points his gun at Murphy while ordering him to show his hands a second time.

The officer then shouts “Hands!” at Murphy two more times before firing his gun at least three times — about seven seconds after his first command to Murphy, the footage shows.

It’s unclear if Murphy was hit by the officer’s initial shots; The officer ran backwards while firing at Murphy and at one point fell on his back.

Once the officer stands, he yells three more times for Murphy to show his hands, footage shows. Murphy then attacks the officer and the officer shoots Murphy twice more.

At this point, Murphy falls to the ground, groaning and panting. It’s unclear in the video if any of those shots hit Murphy.

The officer then yells at Murphy again to show his hands and orders Murphy to turn around, footage shows.

“C’mon man,” Murphy seems to reply, still lying on his stomach. Murphy then spins around with his hands in the air and the officer orders him to then roll back onto his stomach, which he obeys.

The officer then orders Murphy to keep his Arms out, but Murphy tries to get off the floor instead. The officer repeatedly orders Murphy to stay where he is.

“Keep your feet on the ground. I’ll shoot,” the officer says, but Murphy goes into a crouching position before getting up and walking toward the officer.

The officer shouts three more orders and then shoots Murphy in the torso over the course of about 13 seconds, footage shows. Murphy then falls to the ground and dies from his injuries.

“All of our officers are equipped with less lethal forms [of force] — be it tasers, [pepper spray] or truncheon,” Sandy Police Chief Greg Severson said on Friday. “As you can see from the video, this incident escalated extremely quickly. Typically in lethal encounters like this situation, especially when an officer is alone, we do not train our officers to use less than lethal damage control when alone.”

Severson said Murphy has one History” with the department but did not specify what that history was on Friday.

Only one Sandy police officer was present throughout the confrontation — which lasted just over three minutes between the officer’s first sighting of Murphy and Murphy’s fatal shooting.

Severson said a second officer was diverted to the scene from another call, so it “took some time.”

According to the footage, the only responding officer fired his gun about six times at Murphy. Officials said the number of times Murphy was hit is being investigated under the “Official-Involved Critical Incident” protocol.

The unidentified official remains on paid administrative leave. He has been a member of the department since March 2021, Severson said.

Justin Scaccy

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