DA Rules Herriman Police Officers Justified In Fatal Shooting
SALT LAKE CITY – Two Herriman Police officers were legally justified in using deadly force last October against an armed man who reached for his gun, announced Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill.
“I absolutely believe that the officers had no choice at that moment,” Gill said during Friday’s press conference to announce the results of the investigation and review of the Oct. 27 incident.
Around 10:10 p.m., officers were called to the neighborhood near 13400 South and 5300 West by a woman who reported that her ex-boyfriend, 38-year-old Isaac Lemoine Christensen, was “driving around the neighborhood trying to intimidate her,” according to Gill’s report.
“He shows up. He’s playing his music loudly,” Gill said about Christensen. “He stops in front of her house, honking the horn.”
The woman told the 911 operator that she had a protective order against Christensen. She called back a few minutes later to say the he was parked in front of her home and that she believed he had a gun.
“Several other people in the neighborhood called 911 to report concerns about Mr. Christensen,” the report said. “Callers reported that Mr. Christensen had tried to run over people in the neighborhood; callers also said Mr. Christensen had pointed a gun at them.”
Officers arrived in the neighborhood around 10:20 p.m. and heard two series of gunfire. They searched and found Christensen under a parked van on Solafax Lane with two guns lying on the pavement in front of him.
The officers can be heard on the body-camera video repeatedly yelling commands at Christensen.
“Crawl out right now,” one officer said. “Show us your hands. Do not reach for that gun.”
Moments later, Christensen can be seen in the video, moving his hand quickly toward one of the guns. Two officers open fire, hitting Christensen nine times, according to Gill’s final report.
“At that moment, when he does that aggressive movement towards the weapon with an open hand, that is when they made the decision to fire,” Gill said during the press conference.
An officer pulled Christensen out from under the van and rendered medical aid, but Christensen died at the scene.
Gill said officers Dustin Olzack and Brady Askerlund were legally justified in using deadly force.
“In this case, we believe it’s likely a jury would find the facts of this matter meet the elements of a justified use of deadly force, and we decline to file a criminal charge against either Officer Olzack or Officer Askerlund for their use of deadly force,” the report concluded.
No officers or residents were injured during the incident.
“Investigators recovered six 9mm F.C. brand spent (empty) cartridge casings and four .22 caliber Remington brand spent (empty) cartridge casings investigators believe Mr. Christensen fired from his weapons,” the report said. “Investigators also found several .22 caliber Remington live cartridges under the van.”
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