SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, March 8, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Unified Police Officer Trevor Weeks was legally justified in his use of deadly force against a man later identified as Justin Gary Llewelyn, according to a report released by the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office.
The report on Weeks, released Thursday, was issued in connection with the Jan. 20 firing of a gun at Llewelyn, who reportedly shot at an officer first, and who was not hit in the incident. Interviews summarized in the report also give a glimpse of what Weeks was thinking while under fire.
A separate report will be filed on the investigation into UPD Sgt. Richard Wilson.
At 5:50 a.m. that day, the report says, Wilson was driving his marked patrol car in the area of the Monarch Meadows Apartments, at 4854 West Dragonfly Lane, Taylorsville, when he saw fresh footprints around several parked cars.
Thinking the cars were perhaps being burglarized, Wilson followed the footsteps, and came upon Llewelyn, whom he ordered to stop. Llewellyn continued to run through the apartment complex and fired a gun, the officer said.
Wilson said on his radio, “foot pursuit, shots fired, I think he just shot at me, it sounded like gunshots,” the report says.
Weeks arrived in a police truck and was fired on by Llewelyn, the report says.
Weeks returned fire. Asked what he was thinking at that moment, he told investigators, “… the fact that he was shooting at me, I needed to make him … stop shooting at me, and
… the only way that I could make him stop shooting at me was to start shooting back. I was scared that if I didn’t do something, he was going to advance back and kill me, he was gonna come back, double back and kill me,” the report says.
Weeks said he was “scared to death” and believed his safety was “in jeopardy.”
Wilson said he heard UPD Officer Dustin Olzack call out on the radio that the person fled towards Favre Bay Road. Wilson said he retrieved his rifle and headed toward Olzack’s location.
Wilson said while he was holding containment in the area, he heard a commotion
and “glass breaking” coming from one of the neighbor’s back yards.
Wilson said Olzack told him that he heard a couple of gunshots. Wilson said that the police radio dispatcher advised officers over the radio that there was a victim with a gunshot wound on Duncan Meadow Lane. Wilson said police were advised that the person fled the area in a stolen car.
The report concluded that Weeks was justified in his use of deadly force, which “was
necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to himself or another person.”
Llewelyn escaped that day, but was later arrested and charged with:
- Two counts of attempted aggravated murder, a first-degree felony
- Aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony
- Aggravated burglary, a first-degree felony
- Criminal mischief, a third-degree felony
- Failure to stop at the command of an officer, a class A misdemeanor
Two of Llewelyn’s female relatives also were charged with obstruction of justice, a second-degree felony, for allegedly helping Llewelyn escape capture by police.