Utah man shot by Payson police shoplifted sushi before officer confrontation, prosecutors say

The 20-year-old man was reportedly swinging a knife and urging officers to shoot him.

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune) The 4th District Court in Provo, Utah. A man who was shot by police when prosecutors say he threatened them with a knife has been charged in 4th District Court with attempted murder.

A man who prosecutors say shoplifted sushi from a Payson grocery store before he was shot by police when he threatened them with a knife has been charged with trying to kill the officers.

Octavio Salas, 20, was charged Monday in 4th District Court with attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony; and interfering with police and retail theft, Class B misdemeanors, court records show.

Before the police shooting, a man wearing a black ski mask shoplifted a tray of sushi on March 16 from the Payson Market at 586 N. Main Street, according to a probable cause statement. Police officers found the man nearby “and stopped to talk with” him, but the man — later identified as Salas — “began retreating.”

Police said Salas “had a silver metal tool in his right hand and an approximately 5-inch blade knife in his right hand,” and that he told the officers, “Shoot me.”

Officers ordered Salas to drop the knife, but Salas refused, charging documents state. Police used a stun gun on him three times without effect before Salas “began advancing” on one of the officers, coming “within feet of this officer while swinging the knife.”

Another officer then opened fire on Salas twice, hitting him once in the shoulder.

After police took Salas to the ground, he struggled with officers before he was eventually placed in handcuffs, according to charging documents. As officers tried to medically treat him, Salas said things like, “Why am I not dead?” and “I want to die,” the documents state.

Salas was hospitalized for his injuries and later transferred to the Utah County jail, where he is being held without bail. His first court appearance is scheduled for Monday.