POLICE

SLCPD releases body cam footage, says suspect pulled out gun first

Aug 16, 2019, 2:00 PM | Updated: 2:02 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City police have released body cam footage from three cameras following a fatal officer-involved shooting at an apartment complex earlier this month.

They say it shows the suspect pulled out his handgun first.

It is the fifth officer-involved fatal incident for the department this year.

At a news conference today, Captain Lance VanDongen said officers were responding to a 911 hang-up call at the Park Place Apartments on 300 East and 700 South on August 5th when they found a car linked to a different shooting.

A man, a woman, and a young girl were sitting inside, as was 29-year-old Riche Santiago, who was wanted for domestic violence and running from law enforcement.

Officers would not let Santiago, who said he was anxious and needed a cigarette, leave the car. He also told them he’d just gotten out of jail.

After running Santiago’s information, one of the officers decided to arrest him.

“As the officers grabbed the suspect’s arm, he stated that he was not going to resist, and then began reaching inside a backpack. The officers stated, ‘Don’t. Don’t. Don’t be stupid’ and ‘What do you got?'” VanDongen said.

That’s when several bullets were fired.

“[Then] the officers backed up slightly…and he pointed a gun towards the officers. As shots were being fired, the suspect exited the car and moved away,” VanDongen said.

Police also claim Santiago continued pointing his gun at them while he hit the ground.

A young girl can be heard screaming and crying in the video and a woman yells at the officers, “You shot my husband!”

In the video, they respond that Santiago pulled a gun.

Officers are also seen handcuffing Santiago before they knew he was dead so they could take away his weapon.

He was treated and pronounced dead at the scene.

Two officers are on paid administrative leave while West Valley City police investigate.

 

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