LOCAL NEWS

SLC Police: Man Shot, Killed After Stabbing Woman, Charging Officers With Knife

Jun 10, 2021, 10:39 AM | Updated: Jun 11, 2021, 11:20 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City authorities said a man who stabbed a woman and charged officers with a knife was shot and killed by two officers.

The incident occurred Thursday morning at Pioneer Park in downtown Salt Lake City.

Paramedics and police were dispatched to the park at 8:38 a.m. and found workers from a nearby construction scene had begun rendering medical aid to the woman.

Ryan Gorzitze was one of those construction workers. “Heard the commotion, didn’t think anything of it. Saw my coworker and said what’s going on. He said ‘someone had stabbed the girl under the tree.'”

Gorzitze added, “It’s mind-blowing for sure.”

“If not for the actions of bystanders rendering aid, she may have died from these injuries,” said SLCPD Chief Mike Brown. “I want to thank the courageous construction workers who did not hesitate to provide her aid. I really and truly believe you saved a life today.”

Salt Lake City Fire Chief Karl Lieb said the woman suffered serious injuries to her arm and abdomen and was transported to an area hospital in critical condition.

At 8:48 a.m., officers located the suspect and noticed he was holding a knife.

Brown said officers told the man to put the knife down before he started walking toward the officers.

Gorzitze said, “Once he stood up, he started walking towards the officers and that is when the knife was shown in his right hand.”

“The male began to walk toward the officers, and then ran at them with the knife in hand,” Brown said. “Officers continued to direct and give him commands to put the knife down, but he continued to charge.”

“When the male got close enough to the officers — still holding the knife — two officers fired their weapons,” Brown added.

Lieb said paramedics heard the gunshots and split their team to continue treating the woman and respond to the second scene.

They immediately rendered aid but Brown said the man died at the scene.

Mayor Erin Mendenhall commended the officers’ actions at Thursday’s press conference, saying she reviewed footage from the shooting and believes they made the only choice they could.

“I believe this was a choice that they had to make in order to ensure the safety of the victim, of our firefighters who were rendering aid, to the bystanders and to themselves,” she said. “What I saw was an example of excellence policing under threatening and terrible circumstances.”

The county’s officer-involved critical incident protocol has been activated and was being led by the West Valley City Police Department.

Brown said police will release the body camera footage from the incident within 10 business days.

“The officers placed themselves in an extremely dangerous situation where they were forced to make a split-second decision,” he said. “They made a decision to protect the community, our brothers and sisters of the Salt Lake City Fire Department and themselves.”

“I truly believe that the actions taken today by these officers saved lives. And I want them to know, and I want you to know, I support them and I am proud to stand behind them,” Brown added.

Mendenhall also thanked the construction workers who rendered aid to the woman, saying they “made a difference and saved a life.”

Gorzitze said it was frightening. “Oh, I am definitely still in shock. I am nauseous and feel like I am floating..”

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SLC Police: Man Shot, Killed After Stabbing Woman, Charging Officers With Knife