West Valley City Police Department releases body cam of officer shooting at suspected DUI driver

The footage shows the driver reaching into his waistband as the officer confronts him.

(Screenshot via West Valley City Police Department body camera footage) A man suspected of DUI appears to be reaching into his waistband as a West Valley Police officer approaches him on April 20, 2023.

A man suspected of DUI was shot dead by a West Valley City police officer after pointing a gun at her, police said Tuesday as they released body camera footage of the April shooting.

At approximately 10:31 p.m. on April 20, a female officer called to report that she was attempting to pull over a driver in a white pickup truck near 2400 S. Redwood Road who appeared to be driving while intoxicated, authorities said. The driver didn’t stop and tried to turn onto State Road 201, but he “couldn’t make the turn,” then went over a curb and into a gravel embankment.

The officer followed and walked over the curb as well. As she got out of her vehicle, the man was out of his van and facing her. She yelled, “Police! Hold on hold!” as the man seemed to reach into his waistband, footage released on Tuesday shows.

Police said the man drew a gun, the officer drew hers, and the two exchanged gunfire, although body camera footage did not clearly show the man firing his gun. At least three shots are heard before the man falls to the ground as the officer moves behind her vehicle.

Two more gunshots ring out as the man tries to stretch his arm out while lying on the ground, footage shows. It is unclear how many shots hit the man or how many shots, if any, the man fired at the officer.

The officer next radios that shots have been fired and points her gun at the man while ordering him to stay downstairs, footage shows.

As she continues to order him to stay downstairs, the man repeatedly answers, although what he says cannot be heard clearly in the footage.

“Stay down! Don’t reach! Stop! Stop grabbing! Stay down! Take your hand out of your waistband! Hands up!” The officer yells at the man, who is not visible in this portion of the footage as the officer partially stays behind their squad car.

More officers soon arrive, footage shows, and the firing officer warns the man has a gun. The man answers again, but his words are still not heard clearly as officers approach.

“Stay down! Stop grabbing!” yells the first officer. Arriving officers ask if anyone else is there of the man vehicle, and the man says there isn’t. Police then order the man to lie on his stomach and the footage ends.

Officials said Tuesday the man was injured during the shooting and is recovering, but did not identify him or his injuries. The officer remains on paid administrative leave in accordance with department policy regarding police shootings.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office will determine whether the officer’s use of force was warranted, and the city’s Professional Standards Review Board will determine whether the use of force is consistent with department guidelines, officials said.

The West Valley City police shooting was the eighth police shooting in Utah this year, according to a database maintained by The Salt Lake Tribune.

Justin Scaccy

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