SLC police release body camera video, 911 calls from deadly chase, crash
Nov 2, 2023, 8:16 AM | Updated: 10:27 am
SALT LAKE CITY — Newly released body camera footage and 911 calls give insight into what unfolded in a deadly Salt Lake City police chase after officers responded to a shooting in early October.
The chase, during which the car officers were pursuing crashed, killed 21-year-old Douglas Rodriguez, according to police.
Originally, officers with the Salt Lake City Police Department responded to 911 calls reporting shots fired near an apartment complex in the area of 900 S. State Street just after midnight on Oct. 8.
Through a Spanish translator, a man in one of the 911 calls tells dispatchers he found a man shot in a bar parking lot.
“I’m just helping them, he’s bleeding on his leg,” the translator says, relaying to the dispatcher what the caller told him.
“Just tell them to hold pressure on the leg. We’re getting help out to him,” the dispatcher responds.
Police sirens are heard in the background on the call. Body camera footage picks up the situation from there, with three different officers responding and seeing a car speed off on 900 South.
They each jumped into their patrol cars, and Salt Lake City police said in a press release the officers attempted to pull the car over in a traffic stop. The car continued speeding away, and they followed.
One officer tells dispatch that he can see the car up ahead.
“Looks like they crashed up by about 1000 East,” he is heard saying.
The car crashes less than five minutes into the chase, and it takes a few seconds for officers to catch up to the crash. They each pull up and rush in to where the vehicle is turned on its side, smashed and resting against a street sign.
According to Salt Lake City police, the vehicle crashed in the roundabout at 900 South and 1100 East, in the 9th and 9th area.
The driver cried out that he can’t breathe.
“Hey, I can’t get out!” he shouts.
Police approach and realize there’s a passenger in the vehicle as well.
“We’ve got two people inside,” a female officer says. She addresses the driver, “You’re bleeding, we know. We’re getting medical!”
The passenger isn’t responding, and the driver appears to make a grim realization as police try to rescue them by prying open the windshield.
“That’s my homeboy!” the driver yelled. “He’s not talking!”
The chase ended in the death of 21-year-old Douglas Rodriguez and also led to an officer-involved critical incident investigation because the crash happened during a police chase.
Salt Lake City police said Wednesday the officers didn’t attempt any maneuvers or intervention tactics during the chase, and that they were put on admin leave, but are now back at work.
The OICI investigation is ongoing.
The 20-year-old driver, they reported, was booked into jail on several charges including manslaughter in the death of his friend, felony fleeing, reckless driving and driving without a license.
The victim in the shooting survived, and the shooting is still under investigation by the SLCPD’s gang unit.