If there was going to be shooting, I didn't want to be around. —Gabriel Burnham, area resident
ROOSEVELT — Police shot and killed a man Sunday that they say was wielding a handgun and acting erratically near the Uintah Basin Medical Center.
The hospital was locked down as Roosevelt police and Duchesne County sheriff's deputies responded to the scene and chased the man to a wooded creek area nearby. They made contact with him at 12:38 p.m. and determined that he had a gun, according to Duchesne County Sheriff's Lt. Jeremy Curry.
After negotiations and non-lethal attempts to disarm Kevin Vance Norton, a Roosevelt police officer shot him at 1:27 p.m., Curry said. Officers immediately put Norton into the back of a patrol truck and drove him to the hospital, reaching the emergency room in three minutes, the lieutenant said.
Norton died about 30 minutes later.
Gabriel Burnham, who lives in the area, said he stopped his car when he saw a man wearing a T-shirt and jeans walking up the road with a gun in his hand. The man's truck was parked on the side of the road, he said.
"I thought what is he doing," Burnham said. "My first thought was do I need to go back and grab my gun."
Burnham had seen an off-duty officer. Several uniformed officers quickly joined the off-duty officer with their guns drawn and were looking into a culvert, he said. At the point, Burnham said, he turned around and drove away.
"If there was going to be shooting," he said, "I didn't want to be around."
Faith Gordon, who also lives nearby, was about to leave for the store when she heard "a bunch of gunshots and screaming."
"After the gunshots and the screaming was over, one of the police trucks came flying up the hill with his lights on and there was a cop in the back doing chest compressions on someone," Gordon said.
Norton, 36, was on probation for a felony at the time of his death, meaning he was prohibited from possessing firearms, Curry said.2 comments on this story
Court records show he was convicted of aggravated assault and fraudulently obtaining employment compensation, both third-degree felonies, in September 2012 and sentenced to 36 months probation. The assault incident involved domestic violence, according to court records.
The Utah Bureau of Investigations is investigating the shooting and the Uintah County Attorney's Office will determine whether the officer's use of force was justified, Curry said.
Roosevelt police officers are equipped with body-mounted cameras; however, authorities would not say Sunday if the shooting was recorded.
Investigators have not released the name of the officer who shot Norton. He has been placed on paid administrative leave, a standard practice in officer-involved shootings.