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Investigators mum on fatal Salt Lake City shooting of fugitive

Published August 13, 2014 1:32 pm

Shooting • Brother says Dillon Taylor wasn't armed; police remain tight-lipped.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Investigators probing Salt Lake City police officers' fatal shooting of a fugitive outside a convenience store remained tight-lipped about their findings — including whether the slain man was armed.

Jerrail Taylor insists his brother, 20-year-old Dillon Taylor, did not have a handgun on him when officers shot him Monday night outside a 7-Eleven store at 2102 S. State St.

South Salt Lake police Sgt. Darin Sweeten, whose agency is investigating the incident, declined Wednesday to answer questions about whether a weapon had been found, or what actions by Dillon Taylor — verbal or physical — were deemed threatening enough for police to fire at least twice.

"We are not ready to release any information about a weapon being involved or not being involved at this time," Sweeten said, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.

He did once more confirm, however, that shortly before the deadly confrontation, SLCPD had received a 911 call reporting a man brandishing a handgun in the area of the store. Sweeten, citing departmental policy, declined to release a recording or transcript of the 911 call.

The Salt Lake Tribune subsequently submitted Government Records Access and Management Act requests for both the shooting incident report and that 911 call. The requests will be reviewed by South Salt Lake Police Chief Jack Carruth's office.

The shooting also is being investigated by the office of Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill. He, too, declined to answer questions about the shooting chronology or whether a weapon had been found.

"[I] cannot talk about any facts, as it is an ongoing investigation," Gill said Wednesday in an email response to questions.

Jerrail Taylor said he, his brother and a cousin had just gotten drinks in the 7-Eleven when the officers, guns drawn, confronted them.

Dillon Taylor initially didn't hear the officers' demands to get down on the ground with his hands on his head, Jerrail Taylor said, because he was wearing headphones.

Witnesses gave conflicting accounts of whether Dillon Taylor reached toward his waistband or, as his brother claimed, was just adjusting his pants.

Sweeten said Dillon Taylor reportedly was "belligerent" toward officers. He would not further detail the nature of that alleged attitude.

Court documents show a $25,000 arrest warrant had been issued Aug. 7 for Taylor, alleging he had violated his probation on earlier felony robbery and obstructing justice charges.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims