Police shooting of Farmington man called ‘brutal murder’ by family

Less than a day after the man’s family released a statement, Farmington police released new details Friday on the fatal police shooting.

(Courtesy of the Allan family) Chase Allan, 25, was shot and killed by Farmington police on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. In a statement released Thursday, Allan's family has since accused the five officers who opened fire on him with “brutal murder,” and say they are being “stonewalled” by the Police Department.

Farmington police released new information Friday about a police shooting Wednesday that left 25-year-old Chase Allen dead.

The update came less than a day after the family of Allan accused the five officers who police said opened fire on him of “brutal murder,” and said they were being “stonewalled” by the Police Department.

The police shooting unfolded Wednesday in the parking lot of the Farmington post office, located at 145 E. State St. Police had initially said that a Farmington officer pulled Chase Allan over that afternoon because he was driving without a license plate, and said the officer called for backup when Allan became “non-compliant.”

[Update: Farmington police shooting of 25-year-old draws attention to ‘sovereign citizen’ movement, though any connection is unclear]

Four more officers arrived, and when Allan refused to get out of his car, police said they tried to remove him from the vehicle. A “confrontation” ensued and “shots were fired” by the five officers, according to police. At the time, police had not said whether Allan was armed.

In a statement released late Thursday, Allan’s family disputed the initial police version of what led up to his death.

“Officers claim it was a routine traffic stop, yet the officer requested multiple other officers to the scene a couple blocks prior to the stop,” according to the family statement, which does not cite the source of that conflicting information. “This resulted in the brutal murder of Chase at the hands of five Farmington Police officers, with them shooting him while he was still in his automobile and likely terrified for his safety.”

“They shot 12 plus rounds at him while he was still inside the car with the engine running and lights on when reporters arrived,” the family’s statement continued.

Police release updated information Friday

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Farmington post office parking lot is surrounded with crime scene tape as forensics crews investigate the scene of a police shooting involving five officers following a traffic stop on Wednesday, March 1, 2023.

On Friday afternoon, Farmington police Chief Eric Johnsen released a statement with more information about the police shooting, noting that the officer who pulled Chase Allan over on Wednesday afternoon did so because Allan was driving with an “illegitimate” license plate. The statement did not describe the illegitimate plate.

According to Johnsen’s statement Friday, which cited body camera video of the confrontation that authorities have reviewed but has not yet been released to the public, Allan then pulled into a parking stall at the Farmington post office and rolled down the window of his blue sedan “only a few inches,” refusing to provide identification or cooperate with the officer.

Johnsen said Allan “asserted his independence from the laws of the land” in the video and stated that he was not required to provide information to the officer or cooperate. The officer then called for backup, Johnsen said, and “continued to provide the driver with information and options, but to no avail.”

The four officers who then arrived included a supervisor, two officers, and one police trainee, Johnsen said. Together, they ordered Allan to exit his vehicle; when he refused, one officer opened the door to Allan’s car while another officer attempted to remove him, according to the statement.

In the body camera footage, according to the statement, an officer can then be heard yelling the words, “Gun, gun, gun!”

It’s unclear which officer shouted the warning, but Johnsen said a struggle ensued — which lasted “only seconds” before police opened fire.

As authorities began rendering aid to Allan, Johnsen said an empty holster can be seen on Allan’s right hip in the unreleased body camera video, and a handgun can be seen lying on the driver’s-side floorboard. Johnsen did not say whether Allan brandished the gun or fired his weapon.

No passengers were inside the vehicle, and no officers were injured. Allan was taken to a hospital, where he died. It’s unclear if any bystanders were in the post office parking lot at the time of the police shooting.

In their statement released late Thursday, Allan’s family accused Farmington police of not reaching out to them about the police shooting and refusing to release more information to them.

“We have learned more from media coverage about what occurred than anywhere else right now. … We found out about Chase’s death along with the entirety of our community via news reporters and articles written online,” according to their statement. “Police are stonewalling us. Our family has not been permitted to see Chase and has not been contacted by authorities or justice departments with information surrounding this investigation.”

Johnsen said Friday that the Davis County “critical incident protocol” team is investigating the police shooting. That team has provided liaisons to both Farmington police as well as Allan’s family as the investigation continues, he said.

“Video footage is only one part of complete comprehension of the incident, and we recognize that our understanding of the incident may change as more information and evidence is gathered and analyzed,” Johnsen said Friday in the statement. “We don’t draw any final conclusions regarding the actions of the officers until the protocol investigation has been completed.”

A ‘patriot’ who defended ‘freedom and liberty’

Allan’s family said Thursday that he was “a gracious, loving soul who was known by everyone in his community to be caring, thoughtful and kind and would do anything for someone in need.”

The 25-year-old lived in Farmington with his parents. A graduate of Davis High School and Utah State University, “Chase was a son, brother, grandson, nephew, peer, teammate, student and neighbor amongst many other important roles he played within our community.”

The family’s statement went on to say that Allan “was always selflessly helping and protecting others in need. He has been studying law the last few years and was a patriot doing what he could to defend the people’s freedom and liberty in his community.”

Local court records show no recent criminal history for Allan. But according to a probable cause statement, on Sept. 21, 2022, Allan “voluntarily showed up” at a Davis County justice court hearing for a woman who had been charged with a traffic violation. During the hearing, Allan became “disruptive and non-compliant” and “began to resist officers,” the document states. He “refused to comply” when told to leave the courtroom.

A Davis County Sheriff’s Office deputy wrote that “reasonable force” was used to arrest Allan, and that he was taken to the Davis County jail.

The probable cause statement goes on to say that while he was being booked, officers found Allan had “a small plastic slide credit card device that contained several lock-picking items.” According to police, Allan matched the description of an “individual with warrants,” but he refused several requests to identify himself.

“When asked to stop interrupting, [Allan] responded that deputies had no authority over him, using an expletive,” the document states.

Allan was released on his own recognizance, agreeing to appear at future court proceedings and to not commit any crimes. There is no record of charges being filed against Allan.

The police shooting Wednesday marked the fourth police shooting in Utah so far this year, according to a database maintained by The Salt Lake Tribune. The third and otherwise most recent police shooting in Utah happened on Jan. 29 in Iron County, when authorities shot and wounded a reportedly suicidal woman who police said was armed inside a van and refused to exit. She was later charged with several felonies.