ABOVE: Press conference with Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown and Mayor Erin Mendenhall.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Salt Lake City Police have released the body camera footage and 911 calls from June 10’s officer-involved shooting in Pioneer Park that left one dead.
That morning, emergency crews were called to Pioneer Park for a reported stabbing.
Fire crews were first on scene and began rendering aid to an unidentified woman. Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown says bystanders, including construction workers, quickly began rendering aid to the woman, who sustained injuries to her arm and abdomen. According to Brown, if it had not been for those bystanders, the woman may not still be alive.
You can listen to the 911 calls from that day in the video player below:
While emergency crews were rendering aid to the woman, Chief Brown says a man, later identified as 39-year-old Rezek Yaqub Yahya, began to approach the scene with a knife. Salt Lake City Police officers told Yahya to drop the knife, but he did not. As the man continued to approach the scene, Chief Brown says two officers fired their weapons.
In the video player below, you can see a portion of the body camera footage of an officer responding to the scene. The officer speaks to construction workers and other first responders once arriving on the scene, who directs him to a nearby man, saying he stabbed the woman.
Two officers then begin walking toward the man, Yahya, in the park. When they notice he has a knife, the officer can be heard instructing Yahya to put the knife down. He appears to disregard those orders and continues walking toward the officers.
Yahya can then be seen running toward the officers, despite their calls to stop and put the knife down. Here is the body camera video of this portion of the incident.
In the rest of the video, which you can see here, officers continue to ask Yahya to put the gun down as he lays on the ground.
An officer can be heard saying, “put the knife down, I want to help you.” Officers place one of Yahya’s hands in handcuffs, then repeatedly ask him where he has been injured.
Yahya does not appear to respond, and officers continue to speak to him while waiting for emergency responders to arrive. The first responders, who had just loaded the woman into an ambulance, rushed to aid Yahya, but were unsuccessful.
A day after the shooting, the Salt Lake City Fire Chief said Yahya did not die of a gunshot wound but massive cardiac arrest.
The identies of the officers involved has not been released. Because this is an officer-involved incident, West Valley City Police are now investigating.
During a press conference following the shooting, Mayor Erin Mendenhall said she believes the decision officers made in shooting the man was “the choice they had to make.”
“Ultimately, after reviewing the footage myself of the incident, I believe this was a choice they had to make in order to ensure the safety of the victim, of our firefighters who were rendering aid, to the bystanders, and to themselves,” Mayor Mendenhall continues. “What I saw was an example of excellent policing under threatening and terrible circumstances.”