SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, Feb. 11, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — Unified Police Officer Jon Richey — former patrol partner of Doug Barney, the UPD veteran killed last year after being ambushed by an armed fugitive — has died unexpectedly.
Richey, 52, a 30-plus-year police veteran of local law enforcement, died Friday night at his home in Salt Lake City. Unified Police Public Information Officer Lt. Brian Lohrke told Gephardt Daily Richey’s sudden passing appears to be from natural causes.
Salt Lake City police investigators have also confirmed Richey’s passing and say they are treating it as an “unattended death.”
Richey was on patrol in Holladay on the morning of Jan. 17, 2016, along with Barney, when they were ambushed in the aftermath of an auto accident by 31-year-old Cory Lee Henderson. Barney was killed in the unprovoked attack, and Richey seriously wounded. Henderson was also killed in an exchange of gunfire with police.
Richey was honored for his service, receiving UPD’S Medal of Honor and a Purple Heart.
He returned to the force later in the year.
News of Richey’s passing was first posted on social media Saturday by members of the K-9 unit.
“With extreme sorrow, we regret to inform our friends that Officer Jon Richey passed away last night unexpectedly.
“Jon was a legend in the world of police K-9 and most recently served as our head trainer. Prior to that, Jon served as the K-9 sergeant/supervisor for the Salt Lake City Police Department, and prior to his career with SLCPD, he was a handler for the West Jordan Police Department. In all, Jon had a hand in police K9 for over thirty years and everywhere he went, his unmatched skill and expertise propelled each program to the top of their game. Jon personally won many titles, even worldwide, and was responsible for so many more titles and championships won by the teams he coached and mentored.
“Jon’s legacy will live on forever and we express our deepest sympathies to Jon’s family and friends…. WWJRD/MKFY.”