Testimony: Murray man shoots, kills girlfriend, then gets shot by police
SALT LAKE CITY — Shantelle Reid's family filled more than two rows in the courtroom Wednesday.
Wearing purple shirts and purple ribbons — the woman's favorite color and a symbol for those taking a stand against domestic violence — they cried as they saw pictures of her bloodied face projected onto a screen.
Manner of death? Homicide.
Cause of death? Gunshot wound to the head.
Prosecutor Matthew Lloyd said the details of cases such as these are always difficult, but he receives his information over time. For the family, as it did Wednesday, it can come all at once.
Ryan Robinson, 31, is charged with murdering his girlfriend in April — hours after neighbors sent police to his Murray home because of reports that he was punching her and shortly before responding officers shot him as he was running away.
Brian Bench said he met Robinson in May 2011 while teaching him in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning program at Fortis College. He was invested in seeing Robinson finish the program to the point that he asked for permission from his superiors to transport Robinson to and from the college.
On April 9, after giving Robinson a ride home, Bench said Robinson gave him a tour of his house. At one point, he took Bench to the basement where he showcased a gun he had received for his birthday.
Robinson asked Bench for a ride to a home supply store to buy a piece of glass for a broken table. Upon their return, they found it wasn't a fit and Robinson and Reid started to argue "because it was taking so long."
Bench said he felt uncomfortable and left for a mutual friend's house. He was there when the friend answered a phone call from Robinson. He could hear only pieces of the conversation until the friend repeated what Robinson allegedly said.
"Now did you say that you shot her or you think you shot her?" Bench recounted. "I immediately called 911. He openly said that so I would hear it."
Murray police officer David Stallings was 15 minutes into his patrol shift when he was called to 6340 S. 725 East to conduct a welfare check because of a report that a woman may have been shot. Stallings parked just south of the home when a woman in a driveway across the street flagged him down and a man down the road also asked to talk to him.
Stallings approached the woman first, prompting the man to wave the officer away and continue walking.
"Something's up with that guy — the guy you were just talking to," Stallings recalled the woman telling him. "She said he'd been pacing up and down the street, tossing beer cans into yards and the last thing she said was she thought he had a gun in the back of his pants."
Stallings said he began to suspect this was the "Ryan" he was looking for and called out to the man, who responded briefly before taking off running. Stallings said he drew his weapon when he lost sight of the man and kept it out until the man returned into view.
He said he couldn't see Robinson's hands and repeatedly asked the man to show them. Stallings said Robinson took one empty hand from his pocket before bringing the other hand from behind his back, holding the gun under his own chin.
"I started walking toward him, telling him to drop the gun," Stallings said. "He started to dance with the gun under his chin, then he put the gun by his side and racked his weapon."
Robinson then started running again, with Stallings following behind trying to get the man to drop the gun. After one command, Stallings said Robinson stopped, turned and pointed the gun directly at him.
"I fired two shots," Stalling said. "He was going to shoot me ... or try to."
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