Police officers who fatally shot a young man in the back while he was trying to run away won’t be charged or disciplined because the killing “was justified” according to the authorities.
The incident happened at Utah Village Motel in Salt Lake City, Utah, where officers Kevin Fortuna and Neil Iversen were responding to reports of a person “making threats with a weapon” and pointing a gun to another person.
According to the reports, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill revealed in a press conference that the officers responding to reports feared for their lives after noticing that the 22-year-old suspect, Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal, was armed.
As the young man attempted to run away, Fortuna and Iversen pursued him and allegedly shot him in the back several times after seeing him reaching for his gun. According to the reports, they then started firing at Palacios-Carbajal again after he attempted to raise his firearm.
Following the incident, it was revealed that the suspect suffered some “13 to 15 wounds” whereas the officers fired a total of 34 rounds.
While local residents have been calling for justice and holding protests following the deadly confrontation, the prosecutor confirmed that the officers’ use of deadly force was justified as per the Utah law.
According to Gill, Utah law allows police officers to resort to the use of deadly force when “the suspect has committed a felony offense involving the infliction or threatened infliction of death or serious bodily injury” or if “the suspect poses a threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or to others.
” The prosecutor also confirmed Utah officers may use deadly force to “prevent the escape.”
“In this case, it is justified under the statute,” Gill reportedly said.
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