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District Attorney: Deadly Force Against Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal Was Justified

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill on Thursday announced the findings of an investigation into an officer-involved critical incident that left a Salt Lake City man dead and protesters calling for justice.

The incident happened May 23 when officers responded to a call about threats with a gun near 900 South and 300 West. Officers made contact with Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal, 22, who was shot while fleeing from police.

Gill announced that deadly force was justified in the situation because Palacios-Carbajal was holding a gun, and the officers said he pointed it at them. Police said they believed he was going to use it against them.

Charges will not be filed against the officers, Gill said.

DA Sim Gill reveals findings in officer-involved shooting of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal

LIVE: DA Sim Gill walks through findings of officer-involved shooting that led to the death of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Thursday, July 9, 2020

Body camera footage showed officers fired at least 20 shots as Palacios-Carbajal ran away, tripping and falling multiple times. At one point he can be seen picking something up from the ground while fleeing before the officers opened fire.

Gill presented multiple videos during the press conference, which he said confirmed Palacios-Carbajal did have a gun, and he had dropped it multiple times while running. The videos include footage from police body cameras as well as surveillance cameras at the scene.

Salt Lake City police Captain Richard Lewis said the officer chased the man while yelling to “stop,” “show me your hands,” or “drop it,” referring to a gun.

Palacios-Carbajal’s family has called for the officers to be criminally charged. Attorneys for the family said they plan on filing civil charges, but did not elaborate on what those charges would be at a press conference held Thursday afternoon.

Family of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal hold press conference

LIVE: The family of Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal, who died in an officer-involved shooting in May, is holding a press conference following DA Sim Gill's announcement that officers' use of deadly force was justified.

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Thursday, July 9, 2020

KSL TV’s Ladd Egan contributed to this report.

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