Nineteen people were killed by police in Utah in 2018, a record number in recent years, and the Utah Attorney General’s Office is now investigating why the year was so deadly. Here are the names of those shots by police and whether or not the officers’ uses of deadly force have been ruled justified.
(In other shootings, police fired at but did not hit five people, and shot and injured six people, for a total of 30 cases in 2018 where deadly force was used.)
Feb. 15 • Fordell Hill, 27, was killed in a shootout with Colorado police just across the state border in Utah. The shooting was deemed legally justified, but the Colorado officer was fired for violating department policies against shooting at or from moving vehicles and for using unapproved ammunition.
March 13 • A federal agent shot and killed Bryan Keith Liles, 31, in Sandy while searching for another person named Brian, who was wanted on a federal warrant. The agent said he fired as Liles reached for the floorboard in the car, believing Liles could be reaching for a gun. The shooting was deemed justified because Liles posed a credible threat to the officers’ lives.
April 8 • Elijah James Smith, 20, was shot as West Valley City police searched for someone suspected of stealing from a cellphone store on Redwood Road. Officers found Smith hiding in a garage at a West Valley City home. Police told Smith to put his hands up. Although he had one hand in the air, footage shows he reached for a screwdriver with the other, and police shot and killed him. The shooting officer did not face charges.
April 17 • Lonnie Marcel Bowen, 41, was shot and killed by Unified Police as he held a knife to a woman’s throat in Magna. The shooting was found to be legally justified.
April 18 • Salt Lake City police were called to a home in Sugar House to investigate a domestic dispute. After a standoff of an hour and 15 minutes, Delorean Pikyavit, 32, came outside holding a knife in one hand and broken scissors in the other. He repeatedly told officers to shoot him. He was struck by bullets and less-lethal, “spongy” bullets. Prosecutors haven’t determined whether the fatal shooting was justified. His father has sued the department.
May 28 • Michael Glad, 23, was suspected of robbing a Taylorsville 7-Eleven in West Jordan when an officer in a K-9 truck stopped him. Glad pointed a gun at the officer and stole his police truck. Two other West Jordan police officers fired at the truck as Glad tried to drive away, killing him. Officers later discovered that Glad’s gun was a pellet gun. Prosecutors didn’t file charges against the shooting officers.
May 29 • Zane James, 19, was suspected of robbing two Sandy grocery stores when he was spotted by an off-duty Cottonwood Heights officer who was driving to work. After a chase, James crashed a motorcycle near 6700 S. 2200 East and was shot while trying to run away. He died three days later in a hospital. Police said he reached for something, prompting the shooting, but his parents dispute that and have filed a lawsuit. Prosecutors ruled the shooting justified.
June 17 • Abe Martinez, 44, walked out of an Arizona halfway house June 16, 2018, after serving prison time for drug trafficking and stabbing a jail guard. The next day he traveled to his grandmother’s home in South Salt Lake, where he killed her and critically injured her husband. SWAT officers who were gathered outside the home heard screams and fatally shot Martinez through a window. The shooting was ruled justified.
Oct. 11 • Diamonte Riviore, 22, was shot and killed by a West Jordan officer who was investigating a domestic violence report. Police said Riviore threatened officers with a knife. Prosecutors determined the shooting was justified.
Oct. 15 • Two Orem police officers investigating a “family problem” shot and killed Jacob E. Albrethsen, 17, after he allegedly threatened them with a knife. Utah County prosecutors ruled the shooting justified.
Oct. 17 • James Lyle Kuehn, 61, was suspected of trying to rob a Kearns restaurant at knifepoint and fled after an employee swung a large cheese knife at him. Unified Police officers confronted Kuehn, who did not follow their commands to drop his knife, in front of a nearby home, police said. Officers shot Kuehn after a Taser did not subdue him. The shooting was ruled justified.
Oct. 18 • The Metro Gang Unit and the U.S. Marshals’ Violent Fugitive Apprehension Team were chasing Andrey Tkachenko, 23, who was on parole, when they followed two cars into an alley in Salt Lake City. As officers confronted Tkachenko, one UPD officer and one Saratoga Springs officer opened fire. Tkachenko died en route to a hospital. Investigators found a handgun at the scene, but have not said whether it belonged to Tkechenko and haven’t said what caused them to shoot. Prosecutors have not ruled whether the shooting was justified.
Oct. 22 • Two Unified Police officers were investigating a domestic violence report at a home near 1400 West and Stone Ridge Lane when they saw Jason Robert Whittle, 26, threatening his mother with a knife. Ten minutes later, officers “took some action. Shots were fired,” police said. Prosecutors haven’t determined if the shooting was legally justified.
Nov. 9 • Christopher William Parrish, 33, drove away from an Ogden Walmart after customers reported he was acting “manic and threatening” and saying he wanted to fight people, police said. Parrish crashed his car and ran into a nearby yard, where he picked up a “softball-sized” rock and charged two officers who had chased him. The officers tried using Tasers, but when those didn’t subdue Parrish, they shot and killed him. The shooting was ruled justified.
Nov. 9 • Salt Lake City police tracked Cody Belgard, 30, to the Rose Park neighborhood while looking for a suspect in an earlier case. Officers intercepted him after he ran through two backyards. He did not follow orders to put up his hands and get on the ground, instead turning his back to officers. Officers can be heard on body camera footage saying, “He’s got a gun!” and “He’s pointing, he’s pointing!” when five officers opened fire. Investigators found no weapons on Belgard or at the scene, and his family said his autopsy shows he was shot in the back. Prosecutors haven’t yet ruled on the shooting.
Nov. 24 • South Salt Lake officers were investigating a burglary report at a business complex at 3575 W. Temple when they found Felix Calata, 31, and another man, Jeffrey Black. Calata, driving the car he and Black were fleeing in, ran over Officer David Romrell, killing him. Other officers opened fired on Calata, killing him. Black ran away but was later found. He was arrested on suspicion of aggravated murder and later charged. Prosecutors haven’t determined if the shooting was justified.
Nov. 25 • Allen Scott Culpepper, 64, who had a “suicidal call history” went to the Clinton Police station, bringing with him multiple guns, police said. Clinton officers negotiated for more than three hours, but he wouldn’t give up all of his guns, police said. A Syracuse police officer who was at the Clinton station shot and killed Culpepper. Davis County prosecutors decided the shooting was justified.
Nov. 30 • A woman flagged down officers in Ogden and reported that Richard Galvan, 37, her ex-boyfriend, was armed and had kidnapped her and forced her to drive him around. He had gotten out of the car and walked away near 28th Street and Washington Boulevard, police said. Officers found Galvan at a city holiday light display. Police said Galvan shot at officers, who returned fire, killing him. City cameras captured the shootout. Weber County prosecutors ruled the shooting justified.
Dec. 4 • Police were at an Ogden apartment complex looking for suspects in a series of robberies in Weber and Davis counties. Anthony Ray Borden-Cortez, 18, one of the suspects, came outside and drove away in a stolen car. Police chased him, and he crashed into other cars, police said. A detective ordered Borden-Cortez to get out of the car, but the teen instead pointed a gun at the officer, police said. The detective fired several shots at Borden-Cortez, killing him. Investigators later learned that Borden-Cortez’s gun was a BB gun. Weber County prosecutors ruled the shooting justified.