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UPD officer shoots, kills man caught slashing woman

Published December 21, 2012 6:42 am

Workforce Services • Shooting took place in Job offices' parking lot.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Taylorsville • A Unified Police Department officer shot and killed a man he found cutting a woman with a knife inside a car parked outside Department of Workforce Services offices in Taylorsville on Thursday morning.

"We could actually hear him over the radio telling the guy, 'Drop the knife! Drop the knife!' before shooting," said UPD Lt. Justin Hoyal. "This is a very heroic act on the part of this officer. It is highly probable that he saved her life."

The officer had responded to a 911 call at 8:50 a.m. from the woman's family that her 32-year-old boyfriend was holding her at knifepoint inside a brown SUV parked just northeast of the DWFS' South County Center building. When he arrived, the man was holding a knife on the woman; both were in the front of the vehicle, the man in the passenger's seat and the woman behind the wheel.

The couple had come to DWFS to get services, but got into an argument that was unrelated to that topic, Hoyal said.

While not apparently stabbed, the woman sustained what police described as numerous defensive wounds to her hands and also had a cut on her temple.

Hoyal said the officer, who was not hurt, fired "multiple shots" and that the man was dead at the scene. UPD still had not released his identity on Friday, noting difficulties in reaching the man's family in Mexico.

The woman, who had apparently managed to call her family about the situation, was transported by Unified Fire paramedics to Intermountain Medical Center for treatment of what Hoyal said were minor injuries. Hoyal added that she and the suspect had children together.

DWFS offices were shut down and police crime scene tape was up around the entire block at 5735 S. Redwood Road.

Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said there was no doubt in his mind that "the officer used justifiable force [when he] shot the man. ... It's clear this was a dangerous, dynamic situation."

Following the shooting, the man's body, draped with a white tarp, was lying just outside the passenger side of the SUV.

The identity of the man was being withheld, pending notification of next of kin, who are in Mexico.

remims@sltrib.com