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2nd Deputy Shot Outside Salt Lake County Jail Released From Hospital

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Deputy Leland Grossett with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office has been released from the hospital after he was shot in the eye during a gunfight outside the Salt Lake County Jail.

The incident took place around 10:30 a.m. Saturday on the lawn north of the campus, which is home to the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, county jail and UPD headquarters.

Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera said Grossett and his partner, Deputy Joshua Buerke, were conducting routine security patrols outside when they saw a man in the parking lot grassy area of their headquarters. They approached the man, and that’s when Rivera said he started shooting at the deputies.

Buerke was shot in the cheek and was released from the hospital the same day. 

Grossett suffered a gunshot wound to the eye and underwent emergency surgery. He ended up losing the eye, but improved enough to be released from the hospital Monday afternoon.

About 100 deputies and other first responders gathered outside the Intermountain Medical Center for an honor cordon to salute the Deputy Grossett as he was released.

Deputy Joshua Buerke greeted him at the door and walked with him through the line of deputies and to his car.

“I know it’s a challenge and a struggle for him, but today, he was able to stand and walk from his wheelchair because he saw so many law enforcement there to honor him that he got up and walked,” said Rivera.

Grossett’s family said they were grateful for the progress he has made so far in his recovery.

“After a devastating injury, I am so relieved that Deputy Grossett is being released from the hospital,” Rivera said in a press release.

Sheriff Rivera said they face a long road to recovery.

“They’re just two individuals who are incredibly lucky that they weren’t killed, but they’re so strong and they’re an example to the rest of us,” said Rivera.

Sheriff Rivera went on to say that law enforcement is good at taking care of their own and that they will look after the two injured deputies.

She also thanked the staff at Intermountain Medical Center for “taking such good care” of the two deputies.

Police have identified the gunman as 31-year-old Joshua Michael Johnson.

Investigators believed he was homeless.

Court documents reveal that Johnson was a repeat offender with drug, theft and weapons charges. He recently had an arrest warrant issued after failing to appear in court.  

Adult Probation and Parole officials reported Johnson in violation of his probation and said he left a drug treatment center in early February against clinical advice.

Several other sheriff’s office employees who responded to the shooting were placed on administrative leave because of the traumatic event.The sheriff said she wants to make sure they are okay before coming back to work.

In terms of security, the sheriff said she’d like to get the campus fenced in.

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