Two West Jordan police officers won’t face charges after they shot and killed a man who had just robbed a convenience store, pointed a gun at an officer and stole that officer’s police truck, the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.
The two officers, J. Whitehead and T. Shepherd, declined to give prosecutors a statement about the May shooting — just as four other Salt Lake County officers have done so far this year. District Attorney Sim Gill explained in a Thursday news conference that body camera footage and statements from other cops indicated the officers could likely establish at a trial that they were justified in using deadly force to prevent death or serious injury to another person.
Gill also commended another officer, S. Hutchings, saying he tried for minutes to calm Michael Glad down and get him to drop his weapon before Whitehead and Shepherd fired their weapons. Hutchings was the first officer to come into contact with Glad on May 28 after the suspect allegedly robbed a nearby convenience store at gunpoint. Hutchings, who was driving a K-9 unit truck, spotted the man walking along 6200 South.
Body camera footage reviewed by reporters showed a tense few minutes where Hutchings attempted to get Glad to put down a gun that he had pointed at the officer.
As Hutchings took cover behind his police truck, the video shows, he repeatedly yelled instructions to Glad.
“Put the gun down man!” Hutchings said. “It’s not worth it!”
As Glad continued to walk towards the officer — at times pointing the gun at him — Hutchings ran across the street, away from his police truck, to create distance between them.
Throughout this time, the officer continued to point his handgun toward Glad and yelled at him to put his own gun down.
“I don’t want to do this!” the officer yelled at one point.
Eventually, the officer took cover behind a truck driven by a resident who had driven into the area and stopped.
Hutchings continued to yell for Glad to put the gun down, the video shows, as police sirens blared in the background.
“C’mon man, just put down the gun,” Hutchings yelled across the street to Glad, who was standing near the officer’s truck. “We can end this right now.”
Then, Glad jumped into Hutchings’ truck and tried to drive away. It’s then that Whitehead and Shepherd fired their guns. Four bullets struck the police truck, Gill said.
One bullet — it’s unclear from which officer’s gun — hit Glad in the neck. The suspect crashed the police truck into two other cars in a nearby intersection. Glad later died. Police say Glad had a black pellet gun in his hand.
Gill praised Hutchings for how he handled the tense standoff that lasted more than four minutes.
“It demonstrated incredible composure, incredible compassion to want to try to deescalate the situation,” the district attorney said, adding it’s likely Hutchings would have been justified in firing his weapon as soon as Glad pointed his weapon.
West Jordan Sgt. J.C. Holt also applauded Hutchings’ de-escalation attempt, saying officers are often successful in finding other ways to end the situation without firing their weapons.
“It appears this young man made up his mind that day that that wasn’t an option for him,” Holt said.
A letter Gill sent clearing the officers in the shooting only identify them by their last names, and Holt would only give their first initials.