SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Nov. 14, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — The shooting of a man by a West Jordan police officer during a confrontation in June has been found legally justified.
The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office made the determination about the June 15 Use of Deadly Force by the WJPD officer in Taylorsville after conducting an Officer Involved Critical Incident (OICI) review, according to a news release.
The officer confronted a man allegedly matching the description of a suspect in a recent shooting at the Barbary Coast Saloon, 4242 S. State St., according to the news release. The man, later identified as Andrew Jorge Davison Thomas, 24, reportedly disregarded the officer’s commands to show his hands. The officer also saw that Thomas’ hands were down the front of his pants and said it appeared that Thomas was manipulating something inside his waistband. The officer believed Thomas was shooting at him, the news release said, and returned fire, hitting Thomas, who was was treated for his injuries and survived.
Investigators recovered a handgun that paramedics said fell from within Thomas’ pant leg. Investigators documented a “stove-pipe” malfunction, commonly caused by firing a weapon that fails to completely eject a spent cartridge.
The officer who shot the suspect was placed on paid administrative leave.
The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office is required by Utah State law, and operates pursuant to an agreement with participating law enforcement agencies and consistent with established protocols and applicable law, to perform joint investigations and independent reviews of officer involved critical incidents including police officers’ use of deadly (including potentially deadly) force used in the scope of police officers’ official duties.