SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — The family of Zane James, who was shot and killed by Cottonwood Heights police in 2018, announced the launch of a nonprofit in his name to help people who are recovering from substance abuse.

On Tuesday, March 7, Aaron and Tiffany James presented Power Forward Utah scholarships worth $25,000 to Fit To Recover and First Step, two organizations dedicated to providing a safe space for substance abuse rehabilitation.

Zane James, 19, was reportedly shot in the back on May 29, 2018, by a Cottonwood Heights police officer. Investigators say Zane James was running from the officer who had spotted a dirt bike that matched the description of a suspect accused of two armed robberies in Sandy. Zane James died two days later of complications from the shooting.

The sober living scholarships reportedly provide six weeks of safe and secure housing for Utahns who are in recovery and/or a membership to Fit to Recover. Individuals who are interested in applying for this scholarship can do so starting May 1, 2023.

“Both organizations are amazing innovators in helping people break the cycle of addiction,” Aaron James said. “Power Forward Utah will also work to raise awareness of the significant increase in susceptibility to a substance use disorder through injury such as Zane experienced.”

Through Power Forward Utah, Zane James’ family has set a goal to donate $100,000 each year to sober living programs in the state. Representatives of the family said Zane James suffered from substance abuse and that they hope these scholarships will be able to help others on their journeys to recovery.

“[Zane] helped us understand what people need when going through recovery,” Tiffany James said. “We’re hoping people can take this scholarship… and figure out what it feels like to have a moment to breathe and move on… We want them to know there’s support for them.”

Power Forward Utah is in partnership with Power Foward in Boston, a nonprofit created by NHL Stanley Cup winner Kevin Stevens, who reportedly experienced substance abuse addiction and recovery after an on-ice injury.

“They contacted us because of the similarities of Zane’s story and asked to help us honor Zane’s memory in a positive way,” said Aaron James. “We were so grateful to be offered the opportunity to turn Zane’s and our family’s tragedy into someone else’s hope for a supported and fulfilling life in recovery.”

The Salt Lake County District Attorney announced in May 2022 that criminal charges would not be filed against the officer because they don’t believe he intentionally used deadly force during the incident.