The Salt Lake City Police Department released body camera footage on Tuesday that shows officers shooting and seriously injuring a man Nov. 8 after a mental health outreach team called police for backup.
The 37-year-old man injured in the shooting appeared to be living in the detached garage of a Sugar House near 1700 south and 900 east, where the shooting took place, according to footage.
Before officers arrived at the garage, a mobile crisis response team with the Huntsman Mental Health Institute responded to the home. Shortly after, for unknown reasons, the crisis team requested the assistance of an officer, police said.
Two officers responded. After arriving at the garage at approximately 11:40 a.m., a member of the Crisis Outreach Team spoke with one of them about the man’s recent drug use, previous interactions with police, and issues of team safety, according to a Tuesday press release from Salt Lake. police.
Inside the garage were two agents from Salt Lake, two members of the crisis team and a family member; in the first video, everyone’s faces except the officers and the 37-year-old man are blurred out.
For nearly eight minutes, the man spoke with mental health professionals as he sat on a bed in the corner of the crowded space. The conversation is silenced in the footage.
The audio begins approximately seven minutes and 52 seconds into the video, when two people can be heard telling the man how he can vote and that his family loves him. But about 33 seconds later, the man makes a sudden movement towards the end of the bed and a sharp noise is heard.
It was then that the two officers suddenly opened fire, one of them firing around 15 times towards the bed, according to the images. According to a police press release, the two officers fired several bullets, striking the man.
After the shots, the two officers repeatedly yelled at the man to put his hands on the bed, but the man responded by saying, “Dead, dead, dead” and “I can’t move.” .
As the man groans and calls for help, an officer says, “Did you see the gun?
The other replies: “I did not see the weapon.
“Show us your hands and put your hands on the bed,” an officer says, and the man replies again, “I can’t move.”
About 11 minutes into the video, officers drag the man out of his sleeping area. They quickly search him while continuing to search for a gun, then handcuff him. Blood can be seen on the man’s upper back.
In the second video, officers can be heard asking the man where the gun is after the shooting. The man responds, “It’s not a gun.”
But about 11 minutes and 16 seconds into the video, an officer finds what appears to be a gun under the man’s bed. It is not known if the apparent weapon has ever been fired.
The man remains in a local hospital, according to police, and is expected to survive.
“This incident reflects how dangerous a situation can become without warning,” Police Chief Mike Brown said in a statement Tuesday. “Our police department’s collaboration with our own social workers and mental health professionals as well as mental health service providers in our community is essential to more fully meet the needs of Salt Lake City, and I am proud of this work.
“I look forward to the conclusion of the outside and independent investigation into this matter,” Brown’s statement concluded.
Criminal charges are pending, police said, but it’s unclear what charges, if any, the man could face. No other information was available on Tuesday.
According to the Huntsman Mental Health Institute, when a call comes in to the Utah crisis line, which may result in the deployment of a mobile outreach team, “thorough” risk assessments are conducted over the phone to determine s It would be safe for a team to respond, Rachel Lucynski, director of community crisis services at the institute, previously said.
“It’s an outlier when law enforcement support and backup is called for, but it happens,” Lucynski told the Salt Lake Tribune. At the time, Lucynski did not provide further details about the nature of the Nov. 8 hotline call that later resulted in a police shootout.
It was the 16th police shooting in Utah so far this year, according to a database maintained by the Salt Lake Tribune.
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