A Salt Lake police officer who shot and killed a bank robber last month has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing.
Officer J.R. Nelson acted within the law when he used deadly force against Russell Ray Daines, 21, on June 27, according to findings released Tuesday by Bud Ellett, chief of the justice division of the Salt Lake County attorney's office.Daines was pursued following the armed robbery of Key Bank, 290 S. 13th East. After a three-hour search of an eastside neighborhood, police found Daines hiding in some bushes.
A short chase on foot ended at 1236 E. Laird Ave. when Daines raised an arm and pointed an object at Nelson, who drew his .38-caliber revolver and fired three shots.
Two of the shots lodged in Daines' chest. A third shot missed.
"After reviewing the facts, I found, in my opinion, that the action take by Officer Nelson was justified," Ellett said.
Ellett sent a two-page letter Tuesday to acting Police Chief Ed Johnson, explaining the reasons for the decision.
Johnson said Nelson is still on administrative leave with pay pending a decision of the department's own shooting review board, scheduled to meet Friday.