Man Arrested In Killing Of South Salt Lake Police Officer

Nov 26, 2018, 11:47 PM | Updated: 11:50 pm

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah – Investigators arrested a man who had previously been released in connection with the death of a South Salt Lake Police officer.

Jeffrey Black, 43, was taken into custody again late Monday on suspicion of murder, obstruction of justice and burglary, according to police.

South Salt Lake Police Executive Officer Gary Keller said he was unsure why Black was initially released by critical incident investigators, but detectives since found further evidence placing Black inside the car that struck and fatally injured Officer David Romrell on Saturday night.

Police said the driver, identified as 31-year-old Felix Calata, intentionally hit Romrell as Calata fled from the scene of a reported burglary.

He was subsequently shot and killed by officers.

“We’re really happy that (Black) is behind bars,” said Keller, who noted that Romrell’s widow had also expressed her concerns about Black’s release to investigators and prosecutors. “They ran down an officer in the furtherance of the crimes they were committing.”

As Black was being escorted by officers Monday night, he told reporters he had only known Calata for “two or three days” and that the two were “going to make some money” at the location where the burglary was reported.

“It wasn’t a business,” Black said. “The girl owed him money.”

Black said he wasn’t aware at the time that the car had hit Romrell.

“I didn’t know it was a cop,” Black said. “I thought it was a mailbox.”

Court records show an extensive criminal history for Black, including prior charges for drug possession, DUI, forgery and assault.

“I’m just glad that he’s been apprehended and, you know, he’s going to face justice,” Keller said.

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Man Arrested In Killing Of South Salt Lake Police Officer