SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Salt Lake City Police released body camera footage and more details regarding the fatal officer-involved shooting on July 25th. Investigators said the deceased individual, Andrew Jacob Preece held a hostage at knifepoint and disobeyed orders from police to drop his weapon.
During a press conference with Salt Lake City Police Friday morning, Cpt. Richard Lewis said dispatch received a call shortly after 9 a.m. that day from the loss prevention department at Smith’s located at 455 South 500 East.
In the 911 call made available to reporters, the caller indicated two men had stolen property, were fighting inside the store, and appeared intoxicated. A minute later, the caller said both men had exited the store and were standing near the west doors. The caller said one of the men had a knife and described it as being the “length of a forearm.”
Two officers made contact with the men as they were walking east on 500 South. Body camera footage showed Preece walking while holding a knife behind the other man’s back.
“The (first) officer gave commands for the suspect to drop the knife, but instead, the suspect pulled the victim closer to him, held him around the neck, and placed the knife to his throat, taking him hostage, creating an aggravated kidnapping,” said Cpt. Lewis.
He went on to say, “Both officers gave several verbal commands to the suspect to stop and to drop the knife. One officer engaged the suspect in dialog, encouraging him to drop the knife and telling him, ‘It’s not worth it.’ The first shot hit the suspect, but the suspect continued to hold the victim at knifepoint. Both officers discharged their weapons as the hostage broke free and the suspect fell to the ground. Officers secured the scene and rendered aid.”
Preece died on scene and the knife was recovered on scene. The hostage was not identified. SLCPD said this is their fourth officer-involved critical incident and second fatal this year. At this time last year, they also had four officer-involved critical incidents.
Police declined to answer further questions at Friday’s press conference. The Salt Lake County District Attorney, the City’s Civilian Review Board, and SLCPD’s Internal Affairs are conducting parallel separate investigations.