SLCPD releases body camera footage from fatal officer-involved shooting in Pioneer Park

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 24, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The Salt Lake City Police Department has released body-worn camera footage of a fatal officer-involved critical incident on June 10 in Pioneer Park.

The graphic video captured the moments leading up to and including the shooting,” according to a statement by SLCPD.

“The footage begins when the officer activated his body-worn camera and is stopped as medical aid is rendered and the officers are being escorted from the scene. The second officer was wearing a body camera, at this time it is unknown why the video did not record,” the statement said.

The man who was shot has been identified as Rezek Yaqub Yahya, 39.

Salt Lake City police officers at the scene of a fatal officer-involved critical incident at Pioneer Park on Thursday, June 10, 2021. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

The incident began at 8:36 a.m., Thursday June 10, when dispatch received a call from a witness saying a woman had been stabbed at Pioneer Park, the statement said. The witness said the woman had serious injuries to her arm and stomach and was bleeding heavily.

Medical teams from SLC Fire arrived at 8:44 a.m. Due to the severity of the woman’s injuries, they immediately began lifesaving efforts instead of waiting for police to arrive.

Two SLCPD officers were dispatched on an agency assist for SLC Fire at 8:43 a.m. Both arrived at 8:46 a.m., police said. As the officers approached the scene, witnesses and fire personnel pointed out a possible suspect who was still in Pioneer Park.

The two officers walked towards the man, the statement said. Almost immediately the man, who had been sitting by a tree, stood up. One of the officers saw the man had a knife in his hand and told the second officer he could see a knife.

Salt Lake City police investigators at the scene of a fatal officer-involved critical incident at Pioneer Park on Thursday, June 10, 2021. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

“The male slowly walked towards the first officer, who was giving commands to ‘drop the knife,'” the statement said. “The officers stopped walking towards the male, and instead backed up. After the third command to drop the knife the first officer told the second officer, ‘Taser!’. As soon as the first officer said this, the suspect sprinted towards the second officer. The officers continued to give verbal commands to ‘drop it,’ ‘drop the knife’ and ‘stop.'” These verbal commands can be heard in the video.

The man continued running towards the second officer with the knife in his right hand, the statement said. Both officers fired their handguns; the subject was shot and then fell to the ground within a few feet of the second officer who tripped and fell. The man still had the knife in his right hand. After several commands to drop the knife, he eventually let go of it.

An officer placed one of the man’s wrists into handcuffs and put him into a recovery position. The officers never fully handcuffed the man. Officers attempted to communicate with the man to find out where he was hurt.

Officers requested medical assistance over the radio, and less than two minutes later fire paramedics, who were on scene treating the stabbing victim, came to render medical aid to the man. He subsequently passed away.

The female stabbing victim was transported to an area hospital in critical condition.

Later the same day, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown praised the actions of his officers and the bystanders that rendered aid to the injured woman.

Audio recordings of the 911 calls can be heard below:

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