LOCAL NEWS

Family questions calling 911 for mental health crisis after Sandy police shoot, kill brother

Mar 31, 2023, 10:30 PM | Updated: May 15, 2023, 1:59 pm

SANDY, Utah — The family of Dylan Murphy, 33, is questioning if they should have called 911 for help with their brother’s mental health crisis.

On Sunday morning, police responded to a call from Murphy’s brother saying Murphy was experiencing a mental health crisis with possible suicidal ideation. Minutes after an officer arrives, Murphy was shot and killed with family nearby.

“They heard gunshots and then they heard them again,” Murphy’s sister, Laecie Horn said. “My brother Casey never would have ever called the police.”

Murphy “presented an immediate threat” to the officer, according to Sandy police spokesperson Greg Moffitt.

Family said he was unarmed and unfortunately dealing with a mental health crisis throughout that day.

“He tried to check into a facility, but he just couldn’t,” Horn said.

The family is now focusing on the possible good that can come from this tragic incident. They are now focusing on the importance of mental health crisis training.

“Maybe everybody needs it, not just the police, maybe we all need to start working on that,” Horn said.

Dylan Murphy was shot and killed by police after his family called for help with his mental health. (Family photo) Dylan Murphy was shot and killed by police after his family called for help with his mental health. (Family photo) Dylan Murphy was shot and killed by police after his family called for help with his mental health. (Family photo) Dylan Murphy was shot and killed by police after his family called for help with his mental health. (Family photo) Dylan Murphy was shot and killed by police after his family called for help with his mental health. (Family photo) Dylan Murphy was shot and killed by police after his family called for help with his mental health. (Family photo) Dylan Murphy was shot and killed by police after his family called for help with his mental health. (Family photo)

The officer involved in the shooting was placed on paid administrative leave as the investigation into the shooting is ongoing. Once it’s complete, the investigation will be sent to the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office.

Rachel Lucynski, the director of community crisis intervention at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute, said the goal of the 988 suicide and crisis hotline is to avoid law enforcement involvement as many times as possible. She said since its launch in July 2022, they have had more than 66,000 calls.

“About 80% of the time we are able to deescalate the situation, without needing to refer to a higher level of care,” she said.

The line also offers a mobile crisis outreach team to support in-person crisis interventions.

“Our team arrives on scene in unmarked vehicles, they don’t have tactical gear, they are not armed,” Lucynski said.


Suicide prevention resources

If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, call 988 to connect with the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
Crisis hotlines

  • Huntsman Mental Health Institute Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
  • SafeUT Crisis Line: 833-372-3388
  • 988 Suicide and Crisis LifeLine at 988
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386

Online resources

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Family questions calling 911 for mental health crisis after Sandy police shoot, kill brother