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Utah police officers kill 11 in 2010, plus 1 execution

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 1 2015 12:37 p.m. MDT

Army Spec. Brandon S. Barrett (myspace.com) Army Spec. Brandon S. Barrett (myspace.com)

1. MIDVALE, Jan. 1 — Midvale police shot and killed Tevita Talanoa Fisiitalia, 22, during an attempted robbery at an apartment near 6700 South and 625 East. Fisiitalia shot and killed a police dog while officers were chasing him. Fisiitalia was one of four suspects who tried to flee from police. When officers lost track of Fisiitalia, they released Koda, a 3 1/2-year-old Belgian Malinois that had been with the Midvale department K-9 squad just over a year, to detain him. Fisiitalia shot the animal twice and officers returned fire, striking Fisiitalia. He was transported to an area hospital where he later died. The Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office later cleared the officers involved of any wrongdoing.

2. WEST VALLEY CITY, Feb. 2 — Travis Paul Johnson, 39, died a week after being shot by West Valley police. Johnson was about to make a drug deal on Jan. 27 in the parking lot of Burger King, 3470 S. Redwood Road, when three officers approached. Johnson tried speeding away and bumped an officer with his car in the process, prompting another officer to open fire.

Paulo Berumen (Davis County Jail, All) Paulo Berumen (Davis County Jail, All)

3. ROOSEVELT, Feb. 17 — Gary M. Wheeler, 44, was killed after he tried to flee from police officers who saw him leaving a Big O Tire store that had been broken into. Wheeler ultimately hit one patrol vehicle head-on. Officers told the man to exit the vehicle, but he instead accelerated, leading Roosevelt police officer T.J. Bird to fire two shots into the vehicle. No charges were filed against Bird after the Duchesne County Attorney's Office ruled that he was justified in using deadly force.

4. SALT LAKE CITY, May 1 — Favian Martinez, 20, was shot and killed by Salt Lake police officers after he failed to follow officers' commands to raise his hands. Officers responded to an apartment complex at 245 E. South Temple around 2 a.m. after receiving a call from a man who said Martinez pulled a gun on him during an argument. Martinez fled from officers, but was eventually spotted. He was told multiple times to put his hands in the air. When he instead raised his gun, officers fired five rounds, fatally wounding the man. Martinez's mother later said her son might have run because he had a warrant for his arrest and wouldn't have wanted to lose his job. The officers involved were later cleared.

Gary M. Wheeler__Army Spec. Brandon S. Barrett__Paulo Berumen__Tevita Fisiitalia__Brian Harris (All) Gary M. Wheeler__Army Spec. Brandon S. Barrett__Paulo Berumen__Tevita Fisiitalia__Brian Harris (All)

5. PROVO, May 8 — Ronald Ethington, 35, a man with ties to Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, was shot and killed by Provo police officers after he got into a scuffle with security at a Smith's grocery store and pulled a gun. He entered the store at 350 N. Freedom Blvd. and attempted to take some beer when he was stopped by security officers. He then tried to flee, prompting guards to tackle him and call 911. They became aware the man had a gun and succeeded in wresting it from the man, but Ethington grabbed the gun back when employees became distracted upon the arrival of police. Officers told Ethington to put the gun down and place his hands in the air. Instead, they say he pointed the gun at police. Officers opened fire and Ethington again lifted the gun. Additional shots were fired and Ethington was killed. The shooting was found to be justified by the Utah County Attorney's Office.

Tevita Fisiitalia (Salt Lake County Jail booking mug via Ksl Tv, Salt Lake County Jail) Tevita Fisiitalia (Salt Lake County Jail booking mug via Ksl Tv, Salt Lake County Jail)

6. BOUNTIFUL, July 9 — William Oakden, 30, was shot and killed at a mobile home park at 990 N. 500 West. He had walked to his neighbor's trailer covered in blood, holding a knife and threatening to kill himself. When police arrived, multiple shots were fired at Oakden. A neighbor said he had his son's toy gun in his waistband. Two officers from the Woods Cross and West Bountiful police departments fired at Oakden.

7. SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 27 — Army Spec. Brandon S. Barrett, 28, dressed in full military gear and heavily armed, was shot and killed in the middle of a downtown street by Salt Lake police officer Uppsen Downes. Barrett had initially entered the Grand America Hotel looking for a stairwell. Employee Robyn Salmon told the man there wasn't a stairwell, escorted him out and called police. Downes was on patrol in the area and was notified about Barrett by passing pedestrians. Downes approached the man and told him to drop his rifle, but instead Barrett opened fire, hitting several nearby police cars and striking Downes in the left calf. Downes shot back, striking Barrett in the temple and killing him. Barrett, an Army veteran who had served in Afghanistan, had been classified as a deserter from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, in Tacoma, Wash., just eight days before the shooting.

Gary M. Wheeler (Salt Lake County Jail) Gary M. Wheeler (Salt Lake County Jail)

8. ROY, Sept. 16 — Todd E. Blair, 45, was shot and killed during a drug bust at 5933 S. 2600 West. The Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force had been investigating the house for weeks. As officers served a search warrant, Blair came toward police while holding a golf club above his head. Ogden Police Sgt. Troy Burnett fired three shots at Blair. His actions were deemed to be justified.

9. CLINTON, Nov. 5 — Clinton police detectives twice tried to deploy a Taser before shooting and killing Paulo Berumen, 34, who was armed with a knife when police arrived at a home Berumen was at on a domestic dispute call. Two officers encountered Berumen — who reportedly was holding a "large knife" — in the backyard of the home and failed in using a Taser on Berumen because of the thickness of the man's clothing. When Berumen either came at them with the knife or threw the knife at them, the two officers opened fire, killing the man. The Davis County Attorney's Office found that the officers' actions were "justified" and "prudent."

Ronnie Lee Gardner (Associated Press) Ronnie Lee Gardner (Associated Press)

10. WEST VALLEY CITY, Dec. 17 — Brandon Eric Chief, 21, was shot and killed in an officer-involved shooting after officers responded to an assault call at 3676 W. Bawden Ave. (4195 South) and found Chief with a knife. He was taken to the hospital after being shot in the chest and later died. No officers were injured, but those involved have been put on routine administrative leave while an investigation is conducted into the incident.

11. SOUTH JORDAN, Dec. 25 — Police say Daniel Pogue, 54, was heavily armed and running toward a group of people near the LDS Oquirrh Mountain Temple with a loaded shotgun when a South Jordan police officer fired one round, killing the man. Pogue had already unloaded two shotguns, one rifle and multiple swords out of his vehicle and thrown them through the gate onto temple property Saturday when he was confronted by police. He had also been seen "chopping on the fence surrounding the temple" with a machete, according to police. Officers say Pogue, who had been pointing a third shotgun at the temple and bystanders, ignored repeated commands to drop his weapon.

Brian Harris (Coconino County Sheriff's Office) Brian Harris (Coconino County Sheriff's Office)

Also of note:

Ronnie Lee Gardner, 49, convicted of killing two men in the mid-1980s, was executed by a five-member firing squad of Unified Police Department officers at the Utah State Prison on June 18. His death is officially listed as a homicide. Four of the .30-caliber rifles were loaded with live rounds and one with a blank.

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