No charges to be filed in fatal October police shooting in Riverton

RIVERTON, Utah (ABC4 News) The Salt Lake County District Attorney released a statement Friday indicating there would be no charges filed regarding the fatal police shooting of a Utah man in October.

According to a press release, Unified Police Department’s officer Darrell Broadhead would be able to successfully prove the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent harm to other officers or another person.

The shooting happened on October 22 at a home on South Stone Ridge Court around 6:40 a.m. after a call came into police regarding a domestic violence-related incident.

Documents state Whittle showed up at the home of his mother’s at about 5 a.m. and began knocking on her windows trying to convince her to let him in. When she opened the door and let him in, Whittle began pacing around the house. Whittle’s mom told him he needed to check himself into rehab and that he should eat something. While eating, he began rummaging through the kitchen silverware drawer and took out a butter knife. She asked him to put the knife away, but he slipped the knife up his sleeve. 

Whittle then asked his mother to call 911, which she did. She told dispatchers he was mentally ill and high on methamphetamine and “out of control,” documents state.

When officers arrived, Whittle and his mother went outside. Whittle then grabbed onto his mother while holding the knife to her throat, according to the press release.

The officers yelled to Whittle to “put the knife down” multiple times and instead of complying, Whittle yelled: “I can hurt her!” and “I’m going to kill her, ” according to the release.

Officer Broadhead, fired one shot at Whittle’s head while standing approximately 15 feet away. He died immediately after being struck by the bullet and fell to the ground, documents state.

“Assuming Officer Broadhead’s testimony, if any, would be consistent with the physical and photographic evidence collected by protocol investigators, as well as the statements provided by witnesses, we believe Officer Broadhead likely would be legally entitled to the affirmative defense of”justification” under Utah State law,” stated in the press release. “In other words, we believe Officer Broadhead likely would be able to claim successfully at trial that he believed the “use of deadly force [wa]s necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to the officer or another person.”


If you or someone you know is in a dangerous, domestic situation there is free and confidential help. Support for victims and survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence is available 24/7 at 1-800-897-LINK (5465) or at udvc.org or SVSUtah.org. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or in an emergency, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

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