Note: The video above contains violent images.
OGDEN, Utah, Sept. 4, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The Ogden Police Department has released body camera footage of the fatal officer-involved shooting in August of a man who did not respond to officers’ commands to stop advancing and to drop his knife.
Jovany Mercado-Bedolla, 26, died as a result of the shooting. The four officers who fired their guns were put on administrative leave pending the results of a Weber County Attorney’s Office investigation into the officer-involved critical incident.
The video was released Wednesday. To see it, click the player above.
At about 8:55 p.m. on Aug. 16 of this year, police were called to the area of 32nd Street and Gramercy. The caller reported an apparently disoriented man approaching residents with a knife. The callers were having a yard party and felt threatened by the armed man.
“He seemed disoriented, and they considered him to be a safety concern,” Police Chief Randy Watt told reporters a few hours after the incident. “Four officers in three cars went to the scene.
“The suspect had moved to a carport nearby, and the witnesses flagged down the officers and pointed that out. The officers get out of their vehicles, and they approached. They identified the individual standing there, and he was holding a knife.”
Watt said officers ordered the man multiple times to drop the knife.
“He did not do so, and he began advancing on the officers,” the chief said. “They ordered him repeatedly to stop and to drop the knife. He did not do so. All four officers fired their service pistols. The suspect went down there, near the sidewalk, coming out of the carport. Medical was called to the scene and he was declared deceased right there.”
Watt said the officers could not have retreated further than they did, but did not elaborate on what was blocking them.
“There was distance, but not enough for the officers to retreat any further than they did, and they were forced to take the actions they did. He was advancing on the officers, holding a knife in a threatening manner.”
Watt said all four officers who were at the scene are patrol officers, adding that “one of them is a probationer who is accompanied by a field training officer.”
At the time of the shooting, one Ogden officer was already on leave for a July 31 officer-involved fatal shooting in Roy. Ogden officers responded to a Roy incident in which a frightened maintenance worker at Roy’s Tanner Clinic called 911, saying a burglar had broken in, and she had barricaded herself into a clinic room.
Officers from multiple agencies responded. It was an Ogden officer who found the suspect, Donald Lee Joseph, 37, who then advanced on the officer with a knife before being shot and mortally wounded.
On Friday, the OPD released video from the July 31 officer-involved critical incident. To see that video, which is also violent and could be disturbing, click on the player below.
To see photos from both scenes, look at the photo gallery at the bottom of this story.
Gephardt Daily will provide more details on both incidents as information becomes available.