Police: Duchesne County deputy repeatedly commanded armed man to stop, before shooting him twice

Dec 19, 2022, 4:47 PM
[FILE] Jail Handcuffs (KSL-TV)...
[FILE] Jail Handcuffs (KSL-TV)

DUCHESNE COUNTY, Utah — A man who was shot twice by an officer after threatening him with a machete was booked for unlawfully possessing two dangerous weapons and assaulting a police officer.

Lee Bennet Richins, 53, was booked into the Duchesne County Jail for one felony count of assault on a police officer with a dangerous weapon, two misdemeanor charges of unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon, and misdemeanor charges of failing to stop at the command of law enforcement, interference with arresting officer, possession of controlled substance, and use or possession of drug paraphernalia, according to the affidavit.

At approximately 7:17 p.m. on Dec. 5, a Duchesne County sheriff’s deputy pulled over Richins, who was crossing the street on his bicycle without a forward-facing light or a rear-facing reflector in Myton City, Utah.

While the deputy informed Richins of the improper lighting equipment on his bicycle, he noticed a “makeshift spear… made from a large kitchen knife attached to a pole” on his bicycle, according to the affidavit.

The deputy asked dispatch to check Richins’ information and they confirmed that Richins had an active warrant for his arrest.

According to the affidavit, the deputy told Richins that he was going to take him to jail because of the active warrant, but Richins began to beg the deputy not to.

As the deputy ordered Richins to get off the bicycle, Richins began to resist and told the deputy to “get away from him or he was going to kill him,” according to the affidavit. The deputy attempted to detain Richins as he revealed a large machete and held it in his left hand.

During the struggle, Richins told the deputy “to get off him and to kill him, or he was going to kill [the deputy],” according to the affidavit. The two separated, and the deputy pulled out his handgun, pointed it at Richins, and ordered him to drop his weapon and drop to the ground.

Richins ignored these orders, got back on his bicycle, and fled from the scene, according to the affidavit. The deputy followed Richins in his marked police car with emergency lights running.

During the chase, Richins abandoned his bicycle and fled on foot in a wooded area northeast of Myton with the machete and a backpack.

The deputy continued to chase Richins and kept ordering him to stop and drop the machete, but Richins kept asking the deputy to stop following him.

According to the affidavit, Richins threatened the deputy saying “he was going to charge him if he didn’t leave him alone.”

“Moments later, [Richins] turned towards [the deputy] and walked towards [the deputy] demanding [the deputy] to kill him,” states the affidavit.

According to the deputy, he started to walk backward from Richins and ordered him to stop and drop the machete, but Richins continued to walk forward and shouted at him to shoot him.

Richins then turned around and started to walk away from the deputy, who kept following Richins and ordered him to stop, according to the affidavit.

Shortly later, Richins threatened to charge the deputy again, which the deputy ordered him not to do. Richins began to walk towards the deputy and said, “No, if you’re not going to kill me, then leave me alone, make up your mind,” states the affidavit.

The deputy ordered him to stop and drop the weapon, but Richins continued to walk toward him with the machete.

“[The deputy] then fired his issues handgun twice and Richins fell to the ground,” according to the affidavit. While Richins was on the ground, the deputy ordered him to let go of the machete, but Richins refused to.

According to the affidavit, other law enforcement arrived to assist and they were able to get the machete away from Richins after using a Taser on him.

Richins was placed into police custody without further incident and sent to the hospital for his injuries. Police searched the backpack and found a pipe with suspected marijuana residue inside it, according to the affidavit.

According to police, Richins is a felony convict, restricting him from possessing dangerous weapons. Richins was released from the hospital on Friday and booked into the Duchesne County Jail.

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Police: Duchesne County deputy repeatedly commanded armed man to stop, before shooting him twice