Salt Lake City officers followed rules in fatal shooting outside grocery store, says review board

Salt Lake City police shot and killed Andrew Preece while he held another man at knifepoint

(Screenshot via Salt Lake City Police Department) Salt Lake City police shot and killed 34-year-old Andrew Preece on July 25, 2020, after responding to a call that two men had been fighting outside a Smith's at 455 S. 500 East.

The Civilian Review Board says two Salt Lake City officers followed departmental rules when they shot and killed a man holding another at knifepoint last July.

The board’s ruling is consistent with Salt Lake County prosecutor’s earlier finding: Officers Seyedsherwin Mansourbeigi and Dorothy Rose Wilde lawfully shot 34-year-old Andrew Preece.

Mansourbeigi found Preece and the other man on a sidewalk outside a Smith’s Food and Drug at 455 S. 500 East on July 25. Employees there had called to report the pair were inside with a knife and appeared intoxicated.

Body camera video shows that when Mansourbeigi arrived, he pulled his Taser and ordered Preece multiple times to drop the “Bowie”-style knife. Moments later Preece grabbed his companion closer to him and held the knife to the man’s throat.

Wilde appears soon after that. She also told Preece to drop the knife and told him, “It’s not worth it.”

She soon shot Preece, who still had the knife to the man’s throat. Then both officers fired and Preece fell.

In the board’s ruling, members note the officers “urgently and repeatedly” asked Preece to release the man from knifepoint, and that “no other tools were available to the officers” when they fatally shot Preece.

“Although the officers declined to be interviewed, as is their right, the evidence shows that [the man taken hostage] was under threat of death, or serious bodily injury,” the report states, “and that both officers perceived the threat increasing, resulting in them firing their weapons at almost the same time in response to that threat.”

The city’s Civilian Review Board looks into all of SLCPD’s police shootings, in addition to resident-filed complaints. The board makes recommendations, but the police department decides any policy changes or officer discipline.

Officers Mansourbeigi and Wilde, who were on leave during the investigation into Preece’s death, were cleared to return to duty after the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office ruled the shooting legally justified in December.

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