Utah police released footage of a deadly shooting between two Roy City officers and an armed suspect. The shootout happened in February of this year. The police released the footage for informational purposes and it shows the officers taking immediate shooting actions.
Police are not releasing the identities of the officers at this time pending investigation by the Attorney General’s office. The officers shot and killed the suspect, Nicolas Sanchez, 39. The video shows the shooting from one officer’s perspective. Both are under leave for the duration of the investigation.
The police were responding to an emergency call placed by a convenience store clerk. The officers found Sanchez trespassing and loitering in front of the store, nearby an idling car. The first officer called Sanchez over to talk to him away from the store entrance.
Sanchez reluctantly approached the officers with his hand in his pocket. When the officer’s partner told Sanchez to “Keep your hands out of your pockets,” he lifted his jacket to show that he was taking his hands out, revealing a pistol.
“You got a gun on you, do no reach,” said the officer’s partner. “Yeah, do not reach,” said the first officer. At this point, Sanchez broke to flee on foot, reaching for his gun in the process.
The officers pursued, with the first officer tackling Sanchez. In the very short encounter the video shows the officer and Sanchez wrestling over his pistol. While the two were fighting the second officer opened fire on Sanchez after hearing gunshots. Breaking free from Sanchez, the first officer had fired several shots using the suspect’s own pistol.
After the shooting, the two police officers hold Sanchez, still on the parking lot, at gunpoint, until backup arrives. Video shows a pistol at Sanchez’s feet after the shooting. It’s not clear if that’s the pistol the officer took from Sanchez to use against him or a second handgun.
“Fearing Sanchez may have another weapon, and hearing shots fired, the first officer shot Sanchez with the gun he had wrestled from Sanchez. When the first officer saw Sanchez was not moving, he dropped Sanchez’s gun and drew his gun from his holster,” said Roy City Police attorney Heather White.
“Sanchez’s reckless actions in those split seconds dictated the actions the officers took that day,” said White. “The officers did what they are trained to do and what we expect them to do: protect themselves and others against violent and irrational behavior. Because of their actions, no one but Sanchez was injured that night.”
“Sanchez had an extensive criminal history, which included assault, battery, robbery, drug possession, possession of stolen property, gang activity, weapons violations, controlled substance violations, parole violations, DUI, unlawful discharge of a weapon at a person from a car and attempted murder,” said White.