** (Disclaimer: Video posted strictly for educational and information purposes only) **
Roy City Police released video of a deadly exchange between two Roy City police officers and a trespassing suspect at a gas station in February. Two unidentified officers were in a fight with Nicolas Sanchez, 39, in the parking lot of the Texaco Station at 4395 South 1900 West when several shots were fired and Sanchez was hit. One of the officers who shot Sanchez did so with a gun that he had grabbed from Sanchez seconds earlier. Attorney Heather White was hired by Roy City to explain the video prior to releasing it to the media. White said the officer who shot Sanchez with his own gun thought Sanchez may have had a second firearm and decided to use the suspect’s own weapon against him after his partner had already fired shots at Sanchez.
“Fearing Sanchez may have another weapon, and hearing shots fired, the first officer shot Sanchez with the gun he had wrestled from Sanchez. When the first officer saw Sanchez was not moving, he dropped Sanchez’ gun and drew his gun from his holster,” White said. The two officers were initially dispatched to the Texaco station on February 21 at approximately 10 p.m. after a clerk reported a man was trespassing and acting suspiciously in the store. The video shows the officers arrive at the store and contact Sanchez, who was reportedly loitering, and had left his car running in the parking lot. Video shows the officers approach Sanchez at the door of the store and ask him to come over to their cruisers and speak to them.
Sanchez asked the officers repeatedly why they want to talk to him. He then lifts his sweatshirt, at which point an officer stated, “You got a gun on you, do not move.” Sanchez then backed away from the officers, swinging his right hand back and forth and moving his left hand toward his waistband where the gun was located, according to police. Sanchez then turned and ran away from the officers. The video shows the first officer run after Sanchez and a struggle ensues, at which point, the second officer, who is standing back, sees Sanchez’s hands go to his waistband. The second officer felt that his partner’s life was in “imminent danger,” and he began firing at Sanchez, according to White. That’s when the first officer stripped Sanchez of his gun, feared the suspect may have another weapon, and shot Sanchez with his own gun, White says.
Body camera footage released Friday shows the altercation from the perspective of both officers. The entire encounter lasted approximately one minute, but the time between when the officers first saw Sanchez had a gun to the last shot fired is only twelve seconds. “Sanchez’s reckless actions in those split seconds dictated the actions the officers took that day. The officers did what they are trained to do and what we expect them to do: protect themselves and others against violent and irrational behavior,” White said. “Because of their actions, no one but Sanchez was injured that night.” The two officers are on paid administrative leave, pending an investigation from the Weber County Attorney’s Office.
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