Salt Lake County, UT – Salt Lake County District Attorney Sam Gill announced on Wednesday that the fatal shooting of Michael Peterson was legally justified.
Along with the announcement, he released the bodycam video of the shooting (video below.)
The incident started on September 28 when officers were called to a person who assaulted a salon employee while trespassing at 363 South and 500 East in Salt Lake City.
One Salt Lake City PD officer arrived and contacted Peterson. The officer then asked him to come over to speak with him; Peterson kept walking away.
While the suspect was out of view, he attempted to break into a patrol car. The officer ordered him to stop and he kept going.
The officer followed Peterson at a distance and waited for backup.
Peterson then got into a Jeep at another parking lot. The officer noted that he was concerned that Peterson was under the influence and would drive off and hurt somebody. At that time, the owner of the Jeep also came out and started yelling at Peterson.
The officer ordered Peterson out of the car and he refused. The officer then tried deploying his Taser, which had no effect besides making the suspect “enraged.”
Peterson jumped out of the Jeep and started beating the officer.
That’s when a lieutenant arrived on scene.
The officer tried to get to his baton but dropped it while Peterson was beating him. The suspect grabbed the weapon and began to beat the officer with it.
Peterson then switched targets, and a bystander captured Peterson on video charging the lieutenant with a “batter’s stance.”
The lieutenant opened fire, and his initial shots appeared to have no effect, which prompted him to keep firing.
Every shot hit Peterson, turning him into a human sprinkler.
Peterson leaked to death on scene.
District Attorney Sam Gill noted the officer’s attempts to de-escalate the situation and that he only attempted to use force once it was clear that Peterson was endangering others.
Only after lesser force failed did the lieutenant use deadly force.
Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said the officer suffered a broken tibia, ankle, and nose along with face lacerations.