SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill and Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera are set to walk through the findings of the Officer-Involved Critical Incident Protocol in the use of deadly force by Unified Police officers in April 2021.
On Saturday, April 10, two Salt Lake County Sheriff’s deputies were hospitalized – with one losing his eye- after both were shot in the face. The deputies had been performing routine perimeter security when they encountered a man in his 30s on the lawn of the Sheriff’s Office Building.
Authorities say the man produced a handgun and began to fire at the deputies as they approached him. Both deputies were shot in the face during an exchange of gunfire. At least one deputy returned fire, but Sheriff Rosie Rivera says it is unclear which deputy discharged their weapon. The suspect, 31-year-old Joshua Johnson, was pronounced dead by the Officer Involved Critical Incident protocol team.
Court documents show Johnson was on probation at the time of the incident for possession or use of a controlled substance and using false personal information with the intent to be another person. The Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office has identified the deputies involved as Deputy Joshua Buerke and Deputy Leland Grossett.
Deputy Buerke was shot in the check and released from the hospital on the same day while Deputy Grossett was shot in the eye. He underwent surgery and lost his eye as a result of the incident.
“The job of law enforcement is becoming more and more dangerous,” Sheriff Rivera noted during a press conference after the incident. “I am grateful to have deputies like these who are willing to put their lives on the line in the name of public safety.”