Multi-agency law enforcement team investigating West Valley officer involved shooting
WEST VALLEY CITY — Investigators are still looking for additional witnesses who can shed more light on Tuesday’s officer involved shooting in West Valley.
A Granite School District Police Officer shot a teenager who apparently was trying to run him down in a car. The driver, a juvenile not currently enrolled in school, was listed in critical condition Wednesday afternoon.
The officer, who was struck and ended up on the hood of the car, was treated and released, and is on leave until the investigation is complete.
On Tuesday, the rookie officer was patrolling areas near Hunter High School in West Valley City, looking for truant students. At a nearby park, he spotted a car with 5 people inside. The officer got out of his car and said he smelled marijuana. When he approached the car, the driver hit the officer, who ended up on the hood. At some point the officer fired one shot.
The Officer-Involved Critical Incident Team (OICI), made up of investigators from various agencies in the Salt Lake Valley, is now handling the case.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the team had questioned three of the people in the vehicle, all juveniles. An adult man was also in the car at the time of the shooting and investigators want to speak with him as well.
Due to his injuries, the driver of the car has not yet been interviewed.
“There are actually two investigations,” Granite School District/Police PIO Ben Horsley said Wednesday. “There’s one to the incident of why the officer discharged his weapon [as well as] the all-encompassing investigation of why the suspects were approached in the first place.”
The Granite School District Police Department has been around for more than 20 years. There are currently 19 officers on the force. “Obviously crime doesn’t stop when it comes to school property or to the school doors themselves,” Horsley said. “So our police agency takes roughly 7,000 calls a year through our dispatch centers. That’s the same as a midsize city.”
Horsley says the last time the department dealt with a shooting incident was about a decade ago.
There’s no time frame for how long this investigation will take, or whether any charges will result from the incident.
“It goes without saying that there’s some base evidence that is known and we’ll let that evidence speak for itself and we’ll wait for the results of OICI investigation and take any appropriate action as necessary with respect to our officer,” Horsley said.
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