Utah police shootings surpass 2019 total, with two on Saturday

Utah police on Saturday shot two more people, bringing the total number of people shot by police this year to 16 — one more than in all of 2019.

Those two shootings mark the fourth in Utah this month, just eight days into August.

The first shooting Saturday happened in Roy, where police say officers were shot at as they approached a car in a field around 2 a.m. Those officers returned fire and killed a suspect. Another man has been arrested. And a police dog, shot in the face, was treated and is expected to live.

About 10 hours later, Unified police were called to investigate a report of an armed, suicidal person in a parking garage near 3210 E. 6200 South in Holladay, according to a statement from UPD. Police said the 39-year-old man did have a handgun.

“Officers negotiated with the man for approximately 30 minutes. At 1:13 p.m., an officer-involved shooting occurred,” the statement says. It offers no other details about what happened.

The man was taken to the hospital in critical condition. No officers were injured.

The violent incident in Roy started when an officer tried to pull over a car for violating a traffic law. The officer talked to two men in the car briefly before they sped away. The officer chased the car for awhile, but decided to pull back, according to a news release from the Roy City Police Department.

The news release said not long after, the officers approached the car in a field around 2640 N. 1700 West in Clinton. As they moved toward the car, police say at least one of the suspects started shooting. Bullets struck a police car and Mik, the police dog.

Officers fired back, according to the release, killing one man. The news release does not say if the second man was injured, but does say he is now in police custody.

The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave during the investigation. The release says the Weber County Attorney’s Office and the Davis County Attorney’s Office have taken over the investigation. That investigation is still determining the length of the car chase, the number of officers who fired at the suspects and the timeline of events early Saturday.

The department later said Mik’s surgery was successful and he was expected to recover. He’ll be off work for at least 6 weeks.

“We want to thank everyone for their support and we will keep you updated with Mik’s condition,” according to a post on the department’s Facebook page.

The two shootings mark four this month, and six since protesters took to the streets here in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death by police in Minneapolis. That protest movement has raised the attention on instances when police use deadly force.

A woman was shot by Utah County deputies June 4 after pointing a gun at officers. Andrew Jacob Preece, 34, was killed by police in Salt Lake City after he held a knife to another man’s neck on July 25.

The last four shootings have all happened in August, two of them Saturday.

On Aug. 3, West Jordan police killed 17-year-old Cyrus D. Carpenter during a shootout near 2400 West and 7700 South. Carpenter shot an officer in the shoulder. The officer is recovering.

The next day, Unified police fatally shot Andrew S. Gwynn, 30, after they say he pulled a gun during a foot pursuit.

So far, police in Utah have shot at 16 people this year, one more than last year. In 2018, police were in involved in 30 shootings, according to a Salt Lake Tribune database.

Nine of those shot this year were killed. The record is 19 killed in 2018.