Two Utah deputies justified in killing armed man, county attorney says

The officers shot and killed Cody Hadley after responding to a report that a man with a gun had broken into a camp trailer.

(Photo courtesy of the Weber County Attorney's Office) In this screen grab from police video footage, Cody Hadley is running parallel to officers with a gun just before he is fatally shot by Weber County Deputies on Oct. 23, 2020. Hadley was suspected of breaking into a trailer and firing a gun inside.

Weber County Attorney Christopher Allred recently ruled that two northern Utah sheriff’s deputies were justified in shooting and killing a man who had been armed with a gun and was running toward them.

Weber County Sheriff’s Deputy Caleb Rivera and Morgan County Sheriff’s Sgt. Craig Tillet both shot at Cody Hadley on Oct. 23. The two had responded to a Huntsville home to investigate a report that a man with a gun had broken into a camping trailer and fired a round while inside.

Allred wrote in his ruling, released to The Salt Lake Tribune on Monday in response to a records request, that the homeowner who called 911 reported the man had climbed on top of the trailer and was “claiming someone else was inside it with his wife.”

When the deputies arrived, they yelled for anyone inside the trailer to come out with hands up, according to video footage.

One of the deputies said he couldn’t see anyone, but after a few seconds, feet appeared beneath the trailer and a shirtless man ran out. Hadley then pointed his gun toward the deputies and ran at them.

Rivera fired his rifle twice, according to Allred’s finding. Tillet fired his handgun five times.

Allred wrote that both deputies believed their lives were in danger as Hadley approached, and ruled it was reasonable for the officers to believe that deadly force was necessary to “prevent death or serious bodily injury to themselves or others.”