Newly released body camera footage shows that a man accused of sexually assaulting and robbing a woman earlier this month in Ogden had a gun in his hands when a police officer confronted him and fatally shot him soon after.
The Weber County Attorney’s Office on Tuesday posted the video and a recording of police radio activity from the Feb. 5 shooting of 28-year-old Dino Raul Morales to its YouTube page.
The video shows that just before midnight on Feb. 5, an Ogden police officer searching for the suspect in the earlier assault (who’d just been pulled over by police and ran away) walked through a chainlink fence into someone’s backyard.
The officer — who hasn’t yet been identified — shines a flashlight into an open garage, eventually spotting footprints in the snow and making his way to the back of the building and up to the bed of a red pickup truck.
“Show me your hands!” the officer yells twice after looking inside, followed by a similar profanity-laden command. Morales rises up from the truck bed.
“What do you mean?” he asks, telling the officer he lives at the house.
A moment later, the officer sees Morales holding a gun near his right hip, with the barrel pointing away from Morales. The officer radios dispatch to say that Morales has a gun.
“Drop the f------ gun,” the officer says.
“Nope,” Morales responds.
That exchange happens again — and then the officer opens fire. Nine gunshots can be heard. Less than 10 seconds passed between the officer seeing Morales’ gun and him opening fire.
Weber County prosecutors are still investigating whether or not the officer was legally justified in killing Morales.
This was the first police shooting in Utah in 2021, but by the end of that weekend, the number was up to three.
Unified Police officers shot and killed a man the next day in Kearns, after the man, identified as Dennis Denham, pointed a gun at them following a SWAT standoff at his house.
That Sunday, police in Woods Cross fired at Julian Nordahl and a passenger who were inside a vehicle that was suspiciously parked at an auto auction lot.
Police haven’t said why the officer fired, other than “he obviously felt threatened.”
Since then, there has been one other police shooting in Utah: the Feb. 14 shooting of Larry Joseph Lee Tessier.
Tessier was accused of assaulting another man and fled from police in a car when they arrived to investigate.
Police chased after Tessier, and four officers with the Cedar City Police Department fired at him. Tessier survived the shooting but was in critical condition afterward. He is expected to survive and be charged.
The officers who shot at him were named Tuesday as Cpl. Zac Adams, Officer Orlas DeMasters, Officer Heather Daynes and Officer Tyrell Crofts.