Weber County Attorney releases officer-involved shooting video; disturbing content

Image: Screen grab of the Oct. 27 OICI video shared by Weber County Attorney's Office

OGDEN, Utah, Nov. 17, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Weber County Attorney’s Office has released video of an officer-involved shooting that happened on Oct. 27 in Ogden after an armed suspect advanced on a law enforcement officer responding to a call of a possibly suicidal man.

The victim, who survived the police shooting, is 18-year-old Gavin Richard Johansen. He was holding a kitchen knife and what appeared to be a handgun, but was later determined to be an airsoft gun rather than a real firearm.

The violent and disturbing video, located at the bottom of this article, may not be appropriate for children or some adults. Viewer discretion is advised.

The OICI video begins with a 911 call regarding the case, then goes to body camera footage from responding officers. It then shows video from a residential surveillance camera.

The 911 call is from a caseworker for the state of Utah, who says one of Johansen’s parents called him stating the teen’s intention was to “get a shotgun and commit suicide.”

Officers establish a perimeter around the family’s home (which was not the suspect’s residence). Johansen then leaves the residence through a basement door, and encounters an officer, who shouts “hey” at Johansen as he advances, holding the knife and the “handgun.”

“He presented the handgun at an officer … which resulted in an officer-involved shooting,” says on-screen text added to the video.

Johansen was hit in the abdomen, and suffered non-life-threatening injuries, according to information shared by the Weber County District Attorney’s Office. Johansen raised his hands after police ordered he do so.

The officer who fired the shots was placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation into the Officer Involved Critical Incident, as is standard procedure in OICI cases.

After the investigation is complete, the Weber County District Attorney’s Office will determine whether the use of deadly force by the officer was justified.

The case against Johansen

Following his release from the hospital, Johansen was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, one as a second-degree felony and one as a third-degree felony, and with one count of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a second-degree felony. He is being held without bail.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Johansen’s case, Johansen’s girlfriend called his mother to say Gavin was headed over to the family home to get a shotgun and had threatened to harm himself.

Gavin Johansen. Photo: Weber County

Johansen’s mother called her daughter and was told Johansen was already at the home and had taken a shotgun from the gun cabinet.

The probable cause statement says a childhood friend of Johansen’s was at the home, in a basement room, when he heard noises coming from the living room portion of the basement and went to investigate.

The friend saw Johansen with the gun and, believing Johansen intended to hurt himself, tried to wrestle the shotgun away from his friend. The friend told police that at one point, Johansen put an arm around his neck, cutting off his air supply.

At that point, the suspect’s younger sister came downstairs and “… jumped into the fight, grabbing the gun, and Gavin let go of (the friend) and the gun,” the probable cause statement says.

That is when Johansen grabbed the airsoft gun and the knife and ran out the basement door, the statement says.

The suspect’s exit and subsequent shooting by the officer is the subject of the violent video below.

If you or some one you know is contemplating suicide call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.


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