Man claims self-defense after shooting his friend to death; police disagree

Shooter is in custody as West Valley City police investigate.

One man is dead and his friend claims he shot him in self-defense. However, according to West Valley City police, evidence does not support his claim.

The 58-year-old suspect called the West Valley City Police Department shortly before 12:45 a.m. Tuesday to report he had killed his friend, 60-year-old Troy Frampton. The two men were in a motorhome parked outside a house near 1500 West and Claybourne Avenue when they began to argue, police said.

The suspect told dispatchers that Frampton had pulled a gun on him, and he had taken it away and shot Frampton. According to a probable cause statement, the suspect told police he and Frampton had been drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana when Frampton took out his gun and the suspect took it from him. He went on to say that when Frampton tried to take the gun back, it went off accidentally, with a bullet hitting the floor of the motor home.

The suspect told police he unloaded the weapon and yelled at Frampton for bringing a loaded gun to the motorhome. He went on to say that Frampton “was up and down” over the next 15-to-20 minutes, acting calm and then belligerent while demanding his gun back. The suspect said he “racked a round” in the gun when Frampton was being belligerent, and that he told Frampton he had to leave. As he was following the victim outside to wait for a car from a ride-hailing service, he said, Frampton turned and “attacked him,” pushing him against the wall and punching him.

According to police, the suspect said he pulled the gun out and “it went off,” striking Frampton in the chest. But, the suspect said, Frampton came after him again, swinging his fist, and the gun “went off” a second time, striking or grazing the victim by the ear.

Police wrote in the probable cause statement that the suspect “repeatedly told officers and detectives that ‘this was self-defense’” According to a news release from West Valley City police, “the evidence and information gathered through this investigation does not support the claim of self defense.”

Frampton was pronounced dead at the scene. The suspect was booked into the Salt Lake County jail for investigation of murder; he is being held without bail.

The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not name suspects before they have been charged with a crime.