Families of SLCo deputies shot in line of duty share letters of thanks for support

Officers are shown at the scene of shootings near the Salt Lake County Jail on April 10, 2021 Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLC Scanner

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 13, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The families of deputies Joshua Buerke and Leland Grossett, the two officers shot in the head on Saturday in the line of duty, have shared letters of gratitude for the help their loved ones were given.

The officers were reportedly shot by Joshua Michael Johnson, 31, who died from gunshot wounds at the scene. Buerke and Grossett had approached Johnson as he lay on a grassy strip of land adjacent to the complex housing the Salt Lake County Jail, Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Unified Police Department, SLCo Sheriff Rosie Rivera has said. The deputies were assigned to patrol the grounds.

Buerke family statement

The family of Buerke, who was shot in the cheek and released from the hospital later Saturday, after treatment, issued a statement on Monday.

Our family is grateful that Josh is here today. We are thankful for the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and all their support. They have taken great care of our son and we have seen firsthand that they truly are a family.

Leland put his life on the line along with our son, we are wishing him a speedy recovery and know that he and Josh will be able to lean on each other through their recovery.

We recognize that a life was lost in this incident and our hearts go out to that family of that suspect.

Our family knows that Josh is strong, and that this situation will show strength to his colleagues and community. He loves his job and his recovery is going well.

We want to thank all the agencies that responded to the officer down call, including, UPD, West Valley PD, South Salt Lake Police and Fire, Salt Lake City, and the Intermountain Medical Center Trauma Team.

Grossett family statement

Grossett’s family issued a statement on Sunday. It was written before he was released from the hospital on Monday, and does not reflect that fact.

We appreciate the support of the community and for everyone that has reached out in support of our family at this time. Leland underwent surgery yesterday and lost his eye due to his injury. He is doing well and has been moved out of the ICU today. We are thankful that he is alive and looking forward to bring him him home soon.

Leland’s team us amazing. We know that the outcome of this shooting could have been different if it weren’t for the team’s quick response. We are also grateful for his partner, Deputy Joshua Buerke, and are relieved to hear that he is home recovering from his injuries.

One man’s life was lost in this shooting, and we want to express our condolences to his family. We hope they are able to find please, and know that we harbor no ill will.

Right now, Leland’s recovery is our biggest priority. We want to thank the media, community and other well wishers in advance for supporting Leland’s recovery by respecting our privacy.



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