CEDAR CITY, Utah (ABC4) – A man involved in a Valentine’s Day officer-involved shooting will face criminal charges, according to investigators, while all four officers who fired their weapons will remain on paid administrative leave.
According to the Iron County Sheriff’s Lt. Del Schlosser, officers responded to an initial report that a man armed with a knife was attacking another man on Valentine’s Day. When they arrived at around 8 p.m., the suspect, now identified as 36-year-old Larry Joseph Lee Tessier, had fled in an SUV.
A 39-year-old man sustained injuries in that assault and was treated at Cedar City Hospital.
Cedar City Police were able to locate Tessier and conducted a traffic stop.
While talking with Tessier, he reportedly fled from the traffic stop and officers pursued him. The Iron County Sheriff’s Office says Tessier then allegedly drove recklessly on the roadways, swerving into oncoming traffic and driving on the sidewalk at times.
He then allegedly continued driving recklessly, even swerving toward officers assisting in the pursuit. The Iron County Sheriff’s Office and Enoch City Police responded to assist with the pursuit.
Tessier’s vehicle was spiked and officers performed two PIT maneuvers, but they were unsuccessful.
Investigators say Tessier was forced off the roadway with another PIT maneuver where he continued to drive.
Tessier allegedly rammed into one officer’s vehicle before backing up and starting to aggressively drive toward another officer’s vehicle as he attempted to flee.
The Iron County Sheriff’s Office says that, due to Tessier’s actions, four Cedar City Police officers discharged their weapons – Cpl Zac Adams with 8 years of service, Officer Orlas DeMasters with 4 years of service, Officer Heather Daynes with 3 years of service, and Officer Tyrell Crofts with 4 years of service.
Authorities report that Tessier was struck several times and officers on scene began life-saving treatment. He was ultimately transported to Cedar City Hospital and later flown to Dixie Regional Medical Center for further treatment of his injuries.
According to investigators, Tessier sustained injuries to his face, body, arms, and legs. He is expected to survive and will face criminal charges related to these incidents.
Following standard protocol, all four officers involved who discharged their weapons have been placed on paid administrative leave.
This incident remains under investigation by the Iron/Beaver/Garfield Counties Critical Incident Task Force. This information remains based on preliminary information and the investigation is ongoing.