SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 10, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown provided new information surrounding the fatal officer-involved critical incident in Pioneer Park on Thursday morning.
In a press conference just a few hours after the deadly incident, Brown broke down the chain of events that investigators say led police to open fire on a man who stabbed and critically injured a woman before trying to attack first responders.
“At 8:39 a.m., our officers were dispatched to a stabbing near Pioneer Park,” Brown said. “At 8:46 a.m., officers arrived and Salt Lake Fire was already on scene with the victim, who had received multiple lacerations and was critically injured.
“If not for the actions of bystanders rendering aid, she may have died from these injuries. I want to thank the courageous construction workers who did not hesitate to provide her aid, I really and truly believe you saved a life today.”
According to Brown officers were directed to the suspect, who was a short distance away at the north end of Pioneer Park, which is at 350 S. 300 East.
“As they walked towards the male, one of the officers recognized that this male was holding a knife,” Brown said. “The officers stopped and told him to put down the knife. The male began to walk towards the officers, and then ran at them with the knife in hand. Officers continued to direct and give him commands to put the knife down, but he continued to charge. When the male got close enough to the officers, still holding the knife, two officers fired their weapons,” Brown said.
First responders provided medical attention to the man, but he died at the scene.
The female stabbing victim was transported to an area hospital in critical condition, Brown said.
SLCPD will release the body-worn camera footage within 10 business days, and more details will be provided at that time.
Brown added: “I want to say, Salt Lake City has outstanding officers. I’ve said many times, the finest in the country. They are placed in difficult situations day after day. Today our officers put themselves between an armed suspect, a seriously injured citizen and the first responders who were trying to give her aid.
“The officers placed themselves in an extremely difficult situation where they were forced to make a split-second decision,” Brown said. “They made a decision to protect the community, our brothers and sisters of the Salt Lake City Fire Department, and themselves. I truly believe that the actions taken by these officers today saved lives, and I want them to know and I want you to know I support them and I am proud to stand behind them.”
The relationship between the suspect and the victim, if any, is not clear at this time.
Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall also attended the press conference.
“My heart goes out to this woman and her friends and family,” Mendenhall said. “She was stabbed somewhere that everyone deserves to feel safe; in one of our city parks, and the safety of the people of Salt Lake City is my number one priority. I am committed to doing everything I can as mayor to make sure our city is as safe as it can be, and safer each day.”
Mendenhall also thanked the officers of the Salt Lake City Police Department as well as Salt Lake City Fire Department firefighters. “Your bravery and actions are commendable and I’m thankful for you,” she said.
She also thanked the members of the public who rendered aid to the victim.
The suspects identity has not been released, pending notification of family.
The OICI protocol team will be led by West Valley City Police Department.
The full video of the press conference can be seen above.
Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information is made available.