DA Gill rules West Jordan officer’s use of deadly force justified in teen’s shooting

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Dec. 18, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill has ruled that the use of deadly force was justified in an Aug. 2 incident that resulted in the shooting death of 17-year-old Cyrus D. Carpenter in West Jordan.

Carpenter was shot and killed after opening fire on an officer who was investigating a report of a stolen pickup truck parked near 2360 West 7680 South.

Video screened at a news conference Friday shows one officer standing near the rear of the pickup, questioning a passenger who had been asked to exit the vehicle.

A second officer was standing at the driver’s window, engaging the driver, Carpenter, with questions while keeping an eye on what was going on in the vehicle.

Video shows the driver suddenly hold a firearm out the open window, then fire at the officer, hitting him in the shoulder. The officer can be seen stumbling in retreat as he attempts to seek cover.

Carpenter exits the truck and falls to the ground. Investigators speculate he fell because he was not used to the height of the stolen truck and misjudged the distance to the roadway.

Carpenter then ran for a nearby yard, and a number of officers called in as backup fired at him. In all, 23 bullets were fired by officers, Gill said. Seven shots hit Carpenter and resulted in his death at the scene.

Gill said the officers were justified in the use of deadly force because the suspect had already fired at close range, hitting one of them. The shot could have been fatal, Gill said, if the truck weren’t high and the officer was of a slightly different height.

Consequently, the D.A.’s declared the shooting was justified.

Gill also said he spoke to Carpenter’s parents prior to coming to the news conference, and they were apologetic about their son’s actions prior to his fatal shooting.


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