So far this year, Utah has seen 25 officer-involved shootings. Thirteen people died as a result, one of them was an Ogden Police officer.
The majority of shootings (14) have taken place in Salt Lake County with Unified Police and Salt Lake City police each shooting five people. The U.S. Marshal's VFAST team killed two wanted men during two separate incidents in Salt Lake City. West Jordan and Murray Police each shot one person.
Eastern Nevada has had two officer-involved shootings. Both incidents were fatal, one resulted in the shooting death of a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper.
On Jan. 8, two Salt Lake City police officers attempted to stop a vehicle at 1460 W. North Temple. According to his indictment, the driver, 20-year-old Tyler Webster, was reportedly driving a stolen Ford Mustang. Webster reversed away from police in the vehicle, getting it stuck on a curb. One officer approached the vehicle and Webster reversed again, dragging the officer. Police fired at least one round at Webster and then rendered medical aid. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Webster was charged and plead not guilty to three felony counts: theft, failure to stop at the command of police, and assault on a peace officer. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled the shooting justified on Aug. 21st.
On Feb. 3, Unified Police responded to a domestic disturbance between 56-year-old Marc Dominic Neal and his mother in Millcreek. Witness statements indicated Neal, who was carrying a fake gun, raised it at officers as they attempted to de-escalate. They shot and killed him on the scene. Neal's mother later told KUTV her son suffered from mental illness. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled the shooting justified on Aug. 28.
On Feb. 10th, Salt Lake City police responded to a domestic violence call at Eleanor Rigby Apartments. Michael Tyson Nance, 30, allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend Natalie Thurber, 34. exchanged gunfire with police, and unsuccessfully attempted to shot himself. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled the shooting justified on Sept. 4. Nance has been charged with aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated attempted murder, and aggravated assault.
On Feb. 13, the U.S. Marshal's VFAST team attempted to apprehend Brian Francis Filion, who was wanted in connection to the murder of Dalton Wood in North Ogden. Witnesses reported Filion fled on foot, then brandished a weapon. Officers fired and killed him. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled the shooting justified on Sept. 18.
On Feb. 25th, Davis County Sheriff's deputies arrived at 35-year-old Zachary Mendelkow's West Point home for a parole violation. Mendelkow allegedly pointed a revolver at officers. They fired but did not hit him.
On March 5, Murray Police were dispatched to a welfare check at Stillwater Apartments. The woman inside, 58-year-old Rhonda Onge, had been seen walking around the complex with a firearm the week prior. Murray Police told KUTV the officer entered the apartment after hearing gunshots. The officer shot and injured her. Onge is charged with aggravated assault, felony discharge of a weapon, and four counts of assault against a peace officer.
On March 12, Weber County Sheriff's Office responded to a domestic dispute between a mother and her son at 377 W 4800 South. Deputies did not find the son at home. Later that evening, Riverdale and South Ogden police responded to the same address after getting a complaint about a suspicious vehicle. The vehicle was also implicated in multiple hit-and-run accidents. Riverdale and South Ogden police and the suspect had an altercation; police shot but did not injure the suspect. Weber County Attorney's Critical Incident Team is investigating the incident.
On March 12, West Wendover Police attempted to stop a black truck suspected to be involved in criminal activity in the area of Juniper Circle. The female occupant of the vehicle complied; the male did not, driving the truck at officers. One or more officers shot at the driver, who was not hit but crashed into a nearby carport. Elko County Sheriff's Office and Elko County District Attorney's Office are investigating the shooting.
On March 19, Uintah County Sheriff's Office and Vernal Police attempted to make contact 16-year-old boy on probation at 500 West and Main Street. One of the deputies thought the teenager, whose hands were concealed around his waist, had a weapon. At least one officer fired at the teen. A K9 also bit him. Wasatch Back Major Crimes Task Force is investigating the shooting.
On March 21, Unified Police responded to a "shots fired" call in the area of 6200 S. 3200 West. They noticed a suspicious vehicle in the area and initiated a traffic stop. The driver, 28-year-old Bryan Pena, did not pull over. Police did not pursue him at first. Pena crashed his vehicle into a median, then fled on foot and hopped over a fence. Officers confronted Pena in the backyard of a vacant home and he was shot and killed during the confrontation. It's unclear at this time if Pena had a weapon, advanced on officers, or was involved in the original shots fired call.
On March 27, Nevada Highway Patrol Sgt. Ben Jenkins stopped to help a motorist, 65-year-old John Dabritz, on US-93 near Ely. Dabritz shot and killed Jenkins, stole his uniform, and fled in the NHP patrol vehicle. Authorities located Dabritz after a manhunt. Elko Daily reports that the suspect left a mental facility a week before the shooting and his case has been put on hold pending a mental health evaluation. He faces charges of murder, grand larceny, and arson.
On April 23, Utah Highway Patrol notified Ogden Police a stolen vehicle evaded their pursuit. Police located the vehicle near 800 Kershaw Street and approached it. The driver of the vehicle accelerated, attempting to hit the officers. One of the officers fired at the vehicle but did not injure either of the two occupants. The officer was suffered minor injuries. The Weber County Attorney's Office is investigating the shooting.
On May 8, 27-year-old Samantha Bencomo fled from Orem Police after allegedly being involved in a hit-and-run accident at 1153 State Street. Bencomo failed to stop at police's command multiple times and, according to court documents, swerved at an officer. Police fired at Bencomo's vehicle they saw it near 800 N 800 W. She sped away, crashing near 980 W 1600 N. In August, she pleaded guilty to two counts of assault against a peace officer.
On May 21, a Millard County Sheriff's deputy responded to a welfare check of 36-year-old Adam Oney. Early reports indicated Oney was sitting on top of a parked Nisson Frontier in Scipio. Oney drove off; the deputy followed. A high-speed chase ensued. At some point, the deputy discharged his weapon. Oney was hit and flown to a hospital on the Wasatch Front. The Department of Public Safety's State Bureau of Investigation and the Millard County Attorney are investigating the incident. Charges filed against Oney were dismissed without prejudice on Sept. 10.
On May 23, Salt Lake City police responded to a report of an armed man in the area of 900 S 300 West. They located 22-year-old Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal who fled from officers. A foot pursuit ensued. Police say Palacios-Carbajal dropped a gun, then picked it up despite numerous commands to drop it. Officers fired 34 shots, killing him on scene. When Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill ruled the shooting justified, he released a surveillance video that showed Palacios-Carbajal reaching for his gun while on the ground.
On May 28, Ogden Police responded to a domestic violence call at 365 Jackson Ave. The woman who called dispatched said her husband was threatening to kill her. When officers arrived, 53-year-old John Benedict Coleman answered the door, went back into his home, and fired on police. He killed Ogden Police officer Nathan Lyday, 24. Police returned fire and killed Coleman.
On June 4, Provo Police responded to a report of an individual with a gun at 4400 W. Center St. The person who called, 20-year-old Bryanna Hammond, was standing next to her vehicle when officers arrived. Officers approached; Hammond drew a handgun and pointed at them. Police say they told her several times to put the gun down, but she did not comply. Officers shot her three times. Hammond has been charged with one count of assault against a peace officer.
On June 26, Nevada Highway Patrol pulled over 30-year-old Aaron Wesley Keller, who they suspected was impaired, on River Street. Keller fled on foot before the trooper could perform a field sobriety test. The Elko Daily News reports that Keller fired at the trooper, the trooper returned fire, and Keller died at the scene. The Elko Police Department and the Washoe County forensics team are investigating the shooting.
On July 25, 35-year-old Andrew Jacob Preece brandished a knife during a dispute with another man at Smith's grocery store at 500 E 400 South. They took the fight out onto the sidewalk. Preece held the unidentified man at knifepoint as Salt Lake City police officers told him to drop the weapon. When he didn't, they shot and killed him.
On Aug. 2, West Jordan police responded to a call from someone claiming they were following a stolen Chevy truck in the area of 2392 W. 7680 South. The caller told police the vehicle belonged to a relative. According to police, several people in the vehicle did not want to exit once officers had pulled them over. Gunfire was exchanged between the group and officers. 17-year-old Cyrus D. Carpenter was killed.
On Aug. 4, a Unified Police officer made contact with 30-year-old Andrew Gwynn in the area of 5600 W. 5400 South. When the officer went back to his vehicle to check Gwynn's information, Gwynn fled on foot. The officer pursued Gwynn also on foot. According to reports from UPD, the suspect turned and pointed a gun at the officer. The officer shot and killed Gwynn. The Salt Lake County OICI Team 3 is investigating the shooting.
On Aug. 8, Roy Police officers initiated a traffic stop. The vehicle's two occupants, 21-year-old Aaron Michael Giffin and 49-year-old Brian Joseph Cregg fled. A short pursuit ensued, Police later discovered the vehicle in the area of 2640 N. 1700 West in Clinton. As they approached the vehicle, the police took fire and, Mik, a K9 officer was injured. Giffin was shot and killed. Cregg was taken into custody and charged with unrelated offenses. Davis County Attorney's Office ruled the shooting justified.
Also on Aug. 8, 39-year-old Matthew Hilbelink and Unified Police officers were negotiating at a parking garage near 3210 E 6200 South. Hilbelink, who was armed with a handgun, told officers he was thinking of killing himself. Reports from the police don't provide details about how the threat to officers arose. After an hour of negotiating with Hilbelink, officers shot him. He died of his injuries four days later.
On Aug. 27, the U.S. Marshal's VFAST team attempted to apprehend 38-year-old Damien Evans in the area of 1000 S. Main St. in Salt Lake City. The team had a warrant for Evans' arrest for a parole violation. The U.S. Marshals told KUTV the suspect fled on foot, pulled a gun, and shot at the officers. The officers returned fire and killed him.
On Sept. 4, Salt Lake City police responded to a dispatch call from Glendale resident Golda Barton. She requested assistance with her 13-year-old autistic son, Linden Cameron, who she said was having a mental breakdown. Cameron's grandfather was shot by Lyon County Sheriff's deputies in Nevada this January. Barton explained to police her son did not like law enforcement and their presence could trigger her son. In the bodycam footage, Barton also told police he may have some kind pellet or BB gun. Police located Cameron and pursued him on foot, ultimately shooting him multiple times after he didn't comply with their command to freeze. The Salt Lake City Police Department, the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office, and the city's Civilian Review Board are investigating the shooting.
On Sept. 15, dispatch asked Bountiful Police to respond to the area around Viewmont High School. Police said when they arrived, 27-year-old Clay Reynolds picked up a shotgun at the officers and asked them to shoot him. He raised his weapon and fired at them; officers returned fire and killed him. Reynolds' family released a statement two days after the shooting, explaining that he suffered from mental health issues and called the shooting a suicide. The Davis County Critical Incident Protocol Team is investigating this incident.
On Sept. 17, a Unified Police officer heard or saw a crash between a truck and a motorcyclist in the area of 2300 E. 4500 South. The motorcyclist, later identified as 49-year-old Eric Pectol of Layton, reportedly fled the scene of the accident and the officer pursued him. Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera told 2News witnesses claimed Pectol and the UPD officer were in a fistfight, then Pectol picked a gun up off the ground and pointed it at the officer. The officer shot and injured Pectol. No charges have been filed against Pectol yet, and the incident is still being investigated.
Jennifer Weaver, Alyssa Roberts, Jeremy Harris, Morgan Saxton, Mark Klekas, Adam Forgie, McKenzie Stauffer contributed reporting.