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Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
West Valley Deputy Police Chief, Mike Powell speaks to members of the media as West Valley police officers investigate a shooting Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013 near 3500 South and 3200 West.

WEST VALLEY CITY — A man reportedly wielding a knife was shot three times by a West Valley police officer Sunday night.

The man was hospitalized in critical condition.

About 7:30 p.m., an officer reported a suspicious man with a knife was walking alone in the street near 3200 West and 3500 South. Early reports indicated that the man threatened the officer, prompting the officer to fire in self defense.

Deputy West Valley Police Chief Mike Powell described when officers are authorized to use deadly force.

"If that officer is threatened or feels threatened at any particular time, that officer has to make that immediate split-second decision and that would be with any set of circumstances, whether it be a knife or any other weapon that may cause the officer any harm or any other individual that may be involved or at the particular location,” he said.

The officer who shot the man was described as "experienced." Investigators were interviewing witnesses Sunday night and the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office was notified of the shooting. No other details were released.