TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC4) – On Wednesday night, police say Anei Joker opened fire — hitting two officers as they shot back and fatally wounded him.
Joker, according to court records, was a violent felon with a criminal history that spanned years — and Wednesday’s shooting was not the first time he’d been hit by police gunfire.
The first, in 2017, started with a high-speed chase as Joker crashed his vehicle and then was shot by a Cottonwood Heights Police officer. That shooting was ruled justified.
In 2021, Joker pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, and discharge of a firearm. The cases were combined and brought before a judge for sentencing.
“We did our part,” said Sim Gill, Salt Lake County District Attorney.
“We saw somebody who we thought raised the issues of violence, we prosecuted him, we convicted him and we asked for prison out of concern of public safety,” added Gill.
“But we don’t get to execute the sentence — that’s not our system,” said Gill.
Before the hearing, Adult Probation and Parole submitted a pre-sentence report that recommended probation.
Ultimately, the judge recommended probation.
“We made the recommendation that he be sent to prison. But at the end of the day, that’s a decision that’s ultimately made by the court. That’s our system,” said Gill.