SALT LAKE CITY — Two police officers have been found to be legally justified in shooting a Bountiful man following a shooting and a chase earlier this year, while an autopsy confirmed the fatal gunshot was self-inflicted.
Tooele County Attorney Scott Broadhead issued the finding Wednesday, clearing two Salt Lake police officers in the shooting of Roman Jade Carrillo, 19, after he fled to Lake Point on May 30.
Broadhead pointed to the shooting Carrillo was involved in before the chase, shots fired at one officer when the chase ended and evidence that Carrillo was again raising his rifle as he ruled the officers' use of force was justified.
The incident began when Salt Lake Police Lt. Craig Gleason and officer Moeilealoalo Tafisi responded to a shooting near 235 S. 500 West at the downtown homeless shelter, learning that the occupants of a red Dodge Neon — later identified as Carrillo and Andrew Greening, 19 — had shot a man.
The shooting victim, Alex Yetter, 22, survived.
Charging documents filed against Greening in June allege that he and Carrillo were driving past the shelter when Yetter shouted a gang slur at them. Carrillo and Greening got out of the car and confronted Yetter, charges state, and Greening shot Yetter three times with a rifle. Police say Yetter and Greening are members of rival street gangs.
According to Broadhead's report, Gleason and Tafisi located the Dodge Neon about 20 minutes after the shooting and began following the vehicle. The car didn't stop when the officers activated lights and sirens, Broadhead wrote, but continued driving slowly as officers followed.
Officers continued tailing the car as it looped back past the shelter where people outside "confirmed they were following the right vehicle" and the car sped off, Broadhead wrote.
The chase reached 95 mph on Salt Lake streets and 105 mph once the car got on westbound I-80, according to Broadhead. The vehicle hit spike strips laid down by the Utah Highway Patrol and exited the freeway in Lake Point.
At 1502 Canyon Road, Tafisi attempted a maneuver to end the chase, Broadhead wrote, and the Neon lost control and crashed into a tree.
Shots rang out when Tafisi got out of his vehicle and approached the crashed car, two of them striking Tafisi's vehicle, according to Broadhead. The officer returned fire as he ran for cover.
A 15-minute standoff ensued, during which officers gave orders to the men over a loudspeaker and Greening surrendered, telling police Carrillo had a .22-caliber rifle.
Gleason reported that during the standoff he saw Carrillo put the rifle to his head, remove it again as he pulled a bandana over his face, and then begin raising the rifle again as he looked toward Gleason, Broadview wrote. Believing Carrillo was preparing to shoot at him, Gleason fired a shot and ducked down, raising his head again to see Carrillo with the rifle again to his head.
Moments later, a shot was fired and Gleason saw Carrillo fall. An autopsy confirmed that Carrillo had been shot twice, once in the pelvis and once in the head, and that the fatal shot was self-inflicted.Comment on this story
Greening pleaded guilty in 3rd District Court to three counts of discharging a firearm, reduced from a first-degree felony to a second-degree felony, for shooting Yetter. An additional charge of possession of a firearm by a restricted person was dismissed. He was sentenced last week to three concurrent, one-year jail terms, followed by 36 months of probation.
According to court records, Carrillo was convicted in February with failing to stop at an officer's commands, giving false ID to an officer and possession of tobacco by a minor. He was placed on probation for one year.
In November 2016, while Carrillo was incarcerated at Farmington Bay Youth Center, he hit another resident multiple times, resulting in Carrillo being charged in adult court with assault on a prisoner. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail and placed on three years of probation.