CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

S.L. County D.A. declines to charge two officers in shooting, arrest

Dec 9, 2022, 6:30 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:17 am
Salt Lake City Police took a 44-year-old man into custody on Wednesday in connection to the burglar...
Salt Lake City Police a third arrest has been made in connection to a September homicide. (SLC Police Department)
(SLC Police Department)

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced Friday that two law enforcement officers were justified in their use of deadly force during an arrest of two fugitives in Salt Lake City last year, and that will charge neither officer.

While assisting the Violent Fugitive Apprehension Team (VFAST), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agent Nathan Young and Herriman City Police Detective Marcus Beckstead went to a home at 1600 West and 500 South in Salt Lake City during the evening of May 20, 2021. Their intention was to take two fugitives, Valerie Humphrey, 48, and Epifanio Anthony Welch, 46, into custody.

Several occupants at the address told officers the couple was inside and that they were armed.

The law enforcement team issued commands for Humphrey and Welch to surrender. When they did not, bean bag rounds and then a non-lethal pepper ball were fired by officers through a basement bedroom window.  According to police documents, almost immediately, shots were fired toward the officers through the window.

Agent Young and Detective Beckstead returned fire. Humphrey and Welch surrendered. There were no injuries reported.

Young likely fired up to 18 9mm rounds from his pistol. Beckstead likely fired up to six rounds from his rifle, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

“[The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office] decline[s] to file a criminal charge against either Agent Young or Det[etctive] Beckstead for their use of deadly force in this matter,” Gill wrote.

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S.L. County D.A. declines to charge two officers in shooting, arrest