West Valley City Police identify man killed by officer during pursuit
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – The West Valley City Police Department has identified the man an officer shot during a foot pursuit as 20-year-old Elijah James Smith.
Police said Smith matched the description of a suspect in a theft at a cell phone store. The theft happened around 3:15 Sunday afternoon. Police said an officer spotted Smith nearby and when the officer approached him, Smith ran. Police said Smith ran into a garage, encountered the homeowner, then ran to another house.
Inside the second house, police said there were three children, ages 13, 10, and nine. They said one of the children told police Smith was inside.
Police said three officers found Smith in the home and, at some point, one of them fired at him, killing him. Police have not said what circumstances led to the shooting, citing an ongoing investigation by the Unified Police Department. They also have not said whether or not Smith had a weapon.
West Valley City Police spokesperson Roxeanne Vainuku said all of their officers have body cameras.
“These three officers, who were inside the house at the time, all had those body cameras on, and they were operating at the time of this incident. All of that video has been turned over to Unified Police so that they can utilize that as part of their investigation,” Vainuku said.
As part of the protocol, Unified Police will investigate the shooting. All three officers who were in the house at the time of the shooting are on paid leave during that investigation.
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