An Ogden police officer who shot and wounded a man last December was not justified in firing his weapon, Weber County Attorney Dee Smith said Friday in a news release.
Officer Justin Kaufman, who has been with Ogden’s police force for eight years, was not justified in using deadly force when he shot at a suspect on Dec. 18, 2012 after responding to a suspicious circumstance complaint on Canyon Cove Lane, Smith wrote.
According to the press release, Kaufman responded to the area around 11:20 p.m. after the driver of a white Honda bumped into a truck and refused to talk with the truck owner.
Smith wrote in the release that Kaufman was not able to locate the Honda or the truck driver who called police, but eventually he found the Honda and a male driver. When Kaufman tried to speak to the man, he drove away, Smith wrote.
Kaufman followed the Honda until the driver entered a dead-end parking area.
"At 11:22 hours, Officer Kaufman reported that he had been involved in a shooting," Smith wrote, "and the suspect in the white Honda was driving away out of Canyon Cove apartments."
Smith wrote that because criminal charges were pending against the driver of the Honda, no further details about the shooting could be released Friday.
But Ogden police told news reporters at the time that the suspect rammed the officer’s cruiser repeatedly and the officer opened fire on the vehicle as it sped away.
Police said the suspect was injured in the shooting, but reportedly sped west on 20th Street to Interstate 15, ramming another police unit before traveling northbound on the freeway at speeds of up to 110 mph. The chase crossed out of Weber County and into Box Elder County before the driver entered Cache County.
Along the way, Utah Highway Patrol troopers had twice spiked the suspect’s tires, but he continued to elude police until he was finally stopped and arrested in Logan.
Officers on the scene reported that the suspect had sustained gunshot wounds in his shoulder and hand.
Smith said two independent investigations — by the Weber County Attorney’s Office and the Ogden Police Shooting Review Panel — both concluded that Kaufman was not justified in using deadly force.
No criminal charges had been filed against Kaufman as of Friday evening. The identity of the shot man had not been publicly released.
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