‘They had no choice’: DA rules Herriman officers’ use of deadly force justified

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced Friday that two Herriman Police officers were justified in their use of deadly force against an armed Salt Lake City man last October. 

A doorbell camera recorded shots fired on Oct. 27 near 5303 W. Solafax Lane where residents reported a man driving recklessly and pointing a gun at them. When officers arrived, they heard more shots.

Police say 38-year-old Isaac Lemoine Christensen was causing a disturbance outside of the residence of his ex-girlfriend, who had a protective order against him. Officers located Christensen nearby, lying underneath a van with two handguns in front of him.

“Don’t reach for the gun,” an officer is heard shouting. 

Despite those commands, slow-motion video shows Christensen opening his hand and extending his right arm.

“At that moment when he does that aggressive movement toward the weapon with an open hand, that is when they made the decision to fire,” Gill told reporters. “They had no choice based on the totality of everything that is the context of this particular analysis but to use deadly force.”

The musician, artist, and father of one was struck by eight shots and killed instantly. In his obituary, Christensen’s family described him as a former LDS missionary and Weber State University graduate who quote “faced emotional, mental, and chemical challenges during the final decade of his life”. 

Near his body, officers located a knife, a lighter, and two handguns with the clips removed.

“They found that the weapons were unloaded, in the sense, empty,” Gill said. “If he knew it was empty, why did he reach out? And we can make natural inferences from that, but it was a tragic outcome regardless.”

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