Weber County officials release initial findings from deadly Jan. 14 shooting at convenience store
Feb 12, 2024, 1:17 PM | Updated: 5:38 pm
OGDEN — The killing of an attempted murder suspect by police, during a confrontation at a Riverdale convenience store last month, followed repeated demands by authorities with their guns drawn, that the man comply with their orders.
William Toon, 28, of Highland, attempted to evade police inside the store, according to video of the Jan. 14 confrontation released by the Weber County Attorney’s Office. Four of the officers — three from the Ogden Police Department, and one from the Pleasant Grove Police Department — ultimately fired on Toon, killing him, after he walked behind the counter where two store employees crouched.
“He’s going to take a hostage! Shoot him!” one of the officers shouts in the video. The officers fire multiple rounds, killing Toon, though footage of Toon being struck is not included in the video release per the request of a family member that it not be made public, as allowed under state law.
The video report, released Friday, offers no conclusion as to whether the officers were justified in their actions as the probe by the Weber County Force Investigation Team continues.
“A final report with all of the evidence will be prepared and submitted to the Weber County Attorney’s Office for final review,” reads the narrative in the video.
The deadly Jan. 14 confrontation occurred about 3 p.m. that day and came as authorities were trying to locate Toon, 28, who had allegedly stabbed someone in Pleasant Grove with scissors on Dec. 10, according to authorities. Early in the morning of Jan. 14, a South Ogden officer happened upon a man he believed to be Toon in a vehicle and gave chase in snowy conditions, though, the pursuit ultimately ended when the officer slid out on U.S. 89 in Davis County, according to video from the officer’s vehicle.
Later in the afternoon, Pleasant Grove officers, assisted by officers from the Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force and the Ogden Metro Gang Unit, located Toon in a vehicle on Riverdale Road, according to the video report. They followed him to the Sinclair gas station on the northeast corner of Riverdale Road and 700 West, preceding the incident inside the convenience store.
None of the officers involved in the incident wore body cameras, Ogden Police Chief Eric Young said Jan. 16, at a press conference on the incident. The footage in the report comes from surveillance video inside the convenience store, and as two officers enter, guns drawn, it shows Toon heading toward the restroom in the locale. His left hand is in the pocket of his hoodie and his right hand is holding a black rod with a key, apparently to get into the bathroom.
“Hey, hands out of your pocket, hands out of your pocket! You’re under arrest! Freeze! Get on the ground!” one of the officers shouts.
Toon — ultimately found to be unarmed, according to Young — backs away from the officers, left hand still in his pocket, and they continue walking toward him. “Officers ordered Toon, several times, to remove his hand from his pocket,” reads the narrative in the report.
Four additional officers — three with handguns drawn, and one with a long gun of some sort — subsequently enter the store to assist, shouting their own commands. “Get on the ground! Get on the ground!” an officer can be heard shouting. A customer in the store exits.
Toon doesn’t say anything and ultimately walks behind the counter of the convenience store, where two people, apparent clerks with no way to quickly get out, crouch, likely trying to steer clear of the confrontation. That’s when the officers, standing on the other side of the counter, fire, killing Toon, who was subsequently pronounced dead at the scene.
The man had $20,000 in an envelope in his waistband, according to the report. A bag “that had previously been in Toons’ possession” contained “a large amount of drugs.” A photo in the report shows several plastic wrapped bags on the hood of a car, but doesn’t identify them.
The driver of the car in which Toon had been traveling was initially taken into custody and later released, according to the video.
In the Jan. 16 press conference, Young said four officers actually fired on Toon. He said none of the Ogden officers involved were wearing body cameras as they belong to the narcotics and gang task forces and don’t typically use them.