A Salt Lake police officer fatally shot a man who had been smashing several windows in a Central City neighborhood early Thursday.
The identity of the man, who died at LDS Hospital shortly after the 2:45 a.m. shooting, was not released pending notification of his family. He appears to be a Mexican national who was most likely a transient, Salt Lake Police Lt. Phil Kirk said. Police believe the man came into Salt Lake City Wednesday on a train.A motive had not yet been determined, but police had several run-ins with the man during the day Wednesday for disorderly conduct. The man was eventually arrested for trespassing after causing a disturbance at a downtown business. It appears he was released from jail later Wednesday, Kirk said.
Residents on the 300 East block of Beldon Place (545 South) awoke Thursday to the sound of shattering glass around 2:30 a.m. and called police.
Two Salt Lake officers responded to a 911 call about a prowler who was using various objects - including pieces of metal pipe and wood - to bang on cars in the area.
The man, at one point, attacked the officers with an 8-foot section of conduit pipe, Kirk said.
"They even used pepper mace on him, and that appeared to have no effect," Kirk said.
Each time he would approach the officers, they retreated into a defensive position and repeatedly told the man to put down the weapons, the lieutenant said. he never responded or spoke to police.
The man lunged toward police about three times before a third officer, Joe Everett, responding as backup, fired several rounds at the man, striking him in the abdomen. The man fell to the ground, holding a 1-foot section of metal pipe in one hand and a wooden 2-by-4 in the other, Kirk said.
Everett is an 18-year veteran of the department. Per policy, he was placed on paid administrative leave pending an in-ves-ti-gation.
An autopsy was being conducted Thursday morning by the state medical examiner, Kirk said.
The windows of two vehicles at separate houses on the short, dead-end street were shattered, and a piece of broken cinderblock lay in a driveway.
Several residents were too shaken to sleep after the shooting.
One neighbor, who asked not to be identified, watched as police drew their weapons and repeatedly demanded the man drop his weapon.
"Then I heard, pop, pop, pop, pop," the neighbor said. "Why he chose our street and my neighbor's driveway, I don't know. It was really scary."
Longtime resident Shirley Wood recalled only one other neighborhood crime in 15 years: a stolen bicycle.
"This has been a very quiet little street," she said.
Kirk said police suspect the man was either under the influence of drugs or suffering from a serious mental condition.
Thursday's shooting was the second time in a month that a Salt Lake officer has shot someone and the second time this year that a suspect has been killed by an officer in Salt Lake County.
On May 16, a 25-year-old woman was shot and wounded in the upper right arm after she attempted to steal a police car. The woman had been arrested for allegedly purchasing drugs.
In January, Salt Lake County deputy sheriff Stacey Rawlings shot and killed Bryan L. Davis, 26, after a car chase that ended near 3900 South and 1500 East. Davis tried to run down officers with the stolen vehicle he was driving, and Rawlings fired at him through the windshield, fatally wounding him in the head.
Rawlings was cleared in the shooting.