SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Salt Lake County’s District Attorney announced Friday that no charges will be filed after gunfire from two Salt Lake City police officers and left a man dead.
“We decline to file any criminal charges,” Gill said during a Friday news conference.
“The question for us, fundamentally, is at the time that the officer goes to use that lethal force, what is known to them?” added Gill.
“And what is the basis on which they’re making the decision at the moment that they decide to pull the trigger?” said Gill.
He then explained in detail what happened, and based on extensive body camera footage, what led to his decision to not pursue criminal charges.
On July 25, Andrew Jacob Preece was shot five times after holding a hostage at knifepoint and disobeying orders from police to drop his weapon, according to Gill.
“He’s got a hostage,” a police officer can be heard saying on body camera footage.
Gill says video shows Preece holding a knife over a man’s throat on a sidewalk outside a Smith’s store on 500 South.
“I don’t make promises I can’t keep,” another officer says. “Look dude it’s not worth it,” the officer continues.
Gill played the body camera footage at Friday’s news conference, and said the de-escalation tactics were not working as officers saw that the man’s life was in danger. Preece, despite being told repeatedly to drop the knife, didn’t do so.
Gill says an officer holsters his taser and pulls out his gun — as Preece continues to hold the knife to the man’s throat.
Shorty thereafter, five shots were fired at Preece, and as Preece then loosens his grip on the man a handful of other shots were fired.
The incident started, Gill says, when the two men walked into a store, wandered around, and stole an umbrella. A loss prevention officer didn’t follow the two out of the store.
That officer did follow the two into the parking lot, where he later told police he witnessed the man struggling to stand. Both men began to fight, Gill says, and Preece hit the man several times.
They then walked away, and when officers pulled up to the two men they were on 500 South outside a Smith’s grocery store.
ABC4’s Nick McGurk will have more on this story on-air and online at 5 and 6.
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