Salt Lake City police bodycam shows officers shoot man near State Street gas station

The man had reportedly threatened to stab a convenience store employee before officers arrived.

(Salt Lake City Police Department) A Salt Lake City police officer aims his gun at 36-year-old Cameron Ammon Cloward on April 2, 2024, seconds before officers open fire on Cloward, killing him. Cloward, who appears to be holding a pocketknife in the footage, had reportedly threatened to stab a convenience store employee and didn't listen to police commands to drop the knife or get on the ground.

Newly released body camera footage shows the moments before Salt Lake City police officers fatally opened fire on a man with a pocketknife outside a convenience store earlier this month.

The videos, released Monday, show officers confronting 36-year-old Cameron Ammon Cloward on April 2 at about 2:25 a.m. near 875 S. State St. A convenience store employee called 911 earlier reporting that Cloward tried to stab him.

“There’s a guy over here with a knife trying to stab me from the window,” the caller said, according to released 911 call audio. He explained the man had told him he wanted cigarettes.

The caller locked the store’s door and waited for police to arrive, saying the man — later identified as Cloward — was outside looking at him.

Police arrived to find Cloward in the parking lot, holding a pocketknife.

Video shows officers approach the man as he walked toward a sidewalk away from the convenience store. He appeared to hold the pocketknife beneath his chin as he entered an adjacent building’s parking lot.

Officers commanded Cloward to get on the ground and put the knife down, but he didn’t listen.

“Please don’t make us do this,” one officer said before calling for a colleague to get a “less-lethal shotgun.” Another officer yelled, “We will shoot you if you come close. We will f------ shoot you.”

Cloward can be heard saying, “I don’t care.”

Seconds passed before Cloward began walking back toward the convenience store. He then pivoted to one of the officers, and took about four steps forward before police gunfire rang out and Cloward tumbled to the ground.

Officers continued firing after he fell, the body camera footage shows. Cloward died at the scene, and no one else was injured, police said.

It’s unclear how many shots total the officers fired, although the footage released Monday appears to pick up more than a dozen rounds. In a news release, Salt Lake City police said news organizations and community members “should refrain from attempting to estimate the number of shots fired using sound references.”

They said outside investigators would determine the total number of shots and may release that information later.

“No further information on this case is being released,” the release state. The Police Department declined to make a spokesperson available for interviews.

The West Jordan Police Department will lead the Salt Lake City police shooting investigation, in accordance with county-wide “officer-involved critical incident” protocol.

In a written statement, Salt Lake City police Chief Mike Brown said “any loss of life is tragic” and that using deadly force is “traumatic” for officers.

“This situation unfolded very quickly and involved safety risks to our community and officers. Our officers are trained to perceive, interpret, and respond to a person’s actions. The body-worn camera footage released today shows our officers urging, and ordering, Mr. Cloward to put down his knife and to stop walking toward them,” Brown said. “Maintaining the safety of our community can be full of risk and unpredictability.”

This law enforcement shooting marked Utah’s sixth this year, according to a Salt Lake Tribune database.

Correction • April 15, 4:50 p.m.: The story has been updated to correct the location of the convenience store.