DA: Murray officer who shot, injured man acted lawfully
SALT LAKE CITY — The actions of a Murray police officer who shot and injured a man in April were deemed legally justified Tuesday.
In a letter to Murray Police Chief Peter Fondaco, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill wrote that an investigation by his office determined that police officer David Stallings lawfully used deadly force. Stallings shot Ryan Robinson in the lower abdomen on April 9, injuring the man.
Stallings was called to 6341 S. 725 East on a report that a woman in the home may have been shot and that Robinson was the suspect. Police would later find Robinson's girlfriend, Shantelle Reid, dead of an apparent gunshot wound in the home the couple shared.
Stallings was told that earlier in the day, officers had responded to the home for a separate domestic incident. Stallings had parked just south of the home to wait for a backup officer to arrive when a woman flagged him down, Gill wrote. A man down the street was also calling to the officer.
Stallings exited the vehicle and the woman told him the man down the street had been pacing and was carrying a gun in the back of his pants. The officer, suspecting it was Robinson, called out "Ryan" and the man responded, Gill wrote.
The officer drew his weapon and walked toward the man, who hopped a fence and then returned with one hand behind his back. Stallings asked to see Robinson's hands.
"Mr. Robinson pulled a gun from behind his back and pointed it to his chin, as if he was going to shoot himself," Gill wrote.
Stallings repeatedly asked the man to drop the weapon. Gill said witnesses also saw Robinson put the gun to his own chin and heard Stallings' commands.
Robinson then began racking the gun — continuing to ignore the officer's requests — before taking off to run west. Stallings chased the man behind a fence, into a church parking lot and through an opening in another fence, continually ordering the man to drop his weapon. Robinson stopped in a yard at 656 E. 6270 South.
"Officer Stallings ran towards Mr. Robinson and yelled, 'Ryan, drop the gun,'" Gill wrote. "Mr. Robinson, who was facing away from officer Stallings, stopped in the yard, turned around, raised the gun in his right hand and pointed it at officer Stallings."
The officer then fired twice, striking Robinson once in the lower abdomen. He was treated an area hospital and treated for the wounds.
Witnesses reported seeing Robinson raise his weapon and point it at the officer before Stallings fired. Robinson's gun was later recovered near where he was struck. Stallings' gun was missing two rounds, Gill wrote.
It was determined the officer was legally justified under state law, which allows officers to use deadly force when they feel it is necessary to protect themselves or others from death or serious injury.
Officers later went to Robinson's home and found Reid dead in the basement. Her death was ruled a homicide and Robinson was charged with murder, a first-degree felony, as well as aggravated assault and possession of a deadly weapon by a restricted person, third-degree felonies.
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