Veteran Unified police officer, gunman killed in Holladay shootings

Second officer shot three times, improving at hospital

Published: Sunday, Jan. 17 2016 10:45 a.m. MST

Updated: Friday, June 10 2016 3:44 p.m. MDT

Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder speaks during a press conference announcing that veteran Unified police officer Doug Barney was killed after officers responded to a traffic accident at 4500 South and 2300 East in Holladay Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. A gunman was killed in a subsequent shootout and another Unified officer was hit three times and hospitalized.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

HOLLADAY — A veteran Unified police officer was shot and killed Sunday while searching for a man who had just been in a serious car accident, sparking a shootout moments later that left the suspected gunman dead and a second officer wounded.

Officer Doug Barney, 45, died after being shot once in the head while pursuing a man who police say had a "propensity for possession of weapons" and had walked away from the nearby crash scene. Barney served 18 years as a police officer — including a dozen years battling cancer — and was remembered by fellow officers as a loving husband and father of three.

"Today a husband and father left his wife and three children, put on a badge, and promised to return home soon. On behalf of Utah residents from across the state, our hearts are broken for the family of officer Doug Barney who gave the ultimate sacrifice today while in the line of duty," Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said Sunday, adding his condolences to a flood of social media posts mourning the officer.

Unified police officer Jon Richey, 50, was hospitalized in serious condition and was underwent surgery Sunday afternoon. He was shot three times, but police said Sunday night his condition was improving. Richey is a 30-year law enforcement veteran.

The deadly encounter, which played out in a matter of minutes at three separate scenes in the Holladay neighborhood, began at 9:51 a.m. when officers responded to a traffic accident near 2160 E. 4500 South.

Witnesses said an injured man and woman got out of a car involved in the crash and walked away from the scene. Barney spotted the man, later identified as Cory Lee Henderson, 31, a few blocks from the accident near 4200 S. Lynne Lane (2050 East).

"It appears that an individual fired what appears to be a single round at officer Barney, striking him in the head," an emotional Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder said, outlining the course of events.

The call went out of an "officer down." Minutes later, just after 10 a.m., officers spotted the gunman walking near 2167 E. 4500 South, and "as soon as officers came into contact with that individual, gunfire erupted" between Henderson and officers, Winder said.

During that encounter, Henderson was shot multiple times and killed. Richey was shot three times, twice in the legs and once in the torso, the sheriff said.

"He was conscious and alert when I was at the hospital and spoke to him. He seems to be doing very well," Winder said of Richey.

Barney was taken to Intermountain Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 1:12 p.m.

Witness accounts

Throughout the day and into the afternoon Sunday, investigators combed the area looking for the woman involved in the traffic accident, whom Winder called a "person of interest." That search was later scaled back and Winder indicated police were following leads as to her whereabouts, emphasizing that she did not seem to pose an active threat to the public.

According to witnesses who saw her leave the scene, the woman stumbled and fell as she walked away from the crash, apparently injured. The only description given of the woman is that she is Caucasian with blonde hair, and that she abandoned a green coat at the crash site.

The accident appears to have occurred when a black BMW, with Henderson and an unidentified woman inside, ran a red light and struck a white sedan, Unified Police Lt. Lex Bell said. The accident remains under investigation, including efforts to determine whether Henderson or the woman who was with him was driving.

John Kriesel, a doctor at University Hospital, was at a gas station Sunday morning when he saw what he called a "violent wreck." "Just as I turned, I saw a car spinning through the intersection," he said.

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