MAGNA — A Salt Lake man was shot and killed by police early Tuesday, just two days after posting several videos on Facebook saying police were out to kill him.
Lonnie Marcel Bowen, 41, of Salt Lake City, was shot by a Unified police officer following a wild series of events that included a 911 call from a man threatening to stab a woman and a chase.
The incident began about 3 a.m. when emergency dispatchers received a call from an "agitated" man who said, “Tell your officers to back off, or I will shove this knife through her throat," said Unified Police Lt. Brian Lohrke.
The man also requested to speak to a hostage negotiator, he said.
At that time, however, police were not on the scene of any incident.
Lohrke said it is possible that the man who made the 911 call was the one who was later shot, but that had not been confirmed Tuesday.
Police didn't initially know if the call was legitimate, but they "pinged" the cellphone the call was made from, and two officers went to an apartment complex near 3600 South and 900 East. The only activity the officers saw was a pickup truck leaving the area. At that time, the officers did not see any suspicious activity within the truck, Lohrke said. The officers, however, wrote down the license plate number as a precaution.
When they looked up information about the license plate, officers learned either the vehicle or the registered owner had been connected to criminal activity in the past, Lohrke said. At that point, the officers put out an alert to all agencies to be on the lookout for the truck.
Meanwhile, West Valley police may have also received a similar call from a man threatening a woman, Lohrke said. They were put on alert to look for the pickup truck and spotted it near 5600 West and 3100 South, he said.
The ensuing chase ended near the intersection of 2700 South and 8400 West about 4:15 a.m. after West Valley police successfully spiked the tires on the truck, Lohrke said. One patrol car stopped in front of the pickup truck and the other parked behind it.
A Unified police officer who arrived at the scene got out of his car and approached the vehicle. When he got there, he saw something that prompted him to fire at least one shot, but investigators did not elaborate on what that was.
A woman who was also in the truck, possibly being held hostage, suffered minor injuries and was treated at a hospital. Those undisclosed injuries, Lohrke said, happened before the shooting and were inflicted by Bowen.
Bowen had a lengthy criminal history, according to court records, including a conviction for attempted murder in 1996, and he spent time in the Utah State Prison. He was most recently released from prison in January.
On his Facebook page, which was created just a couple of weeks ago, the final posts on the page are four livestream videos all recorded between 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Police confirmed Tuesday the man in the videos was Bowen.
In the recordings, Bowen is talking while driving, and suggests that he is going to be killed by either Salt Lake police or the Ogden Metro Strike Force.
"Salt Lake PD are killers. And they are responsible for anything that happens to me death-wise. They want to kill me,” he said. "They want me dead, for whatever reason, they want me dead."
Bowen contends the police will make his death look like criminal activity was involved.
"I'm putting this video out there so the world knows who is responsible for my death," he continued. "I know they're gunning for me. I know they waiting for me."2 comments on this story
In his videos, Bowen also talks about his gang affiliation and how his gang is like his family. He also discusses snitches and says people who are caught doing a crime should be man enough to do the time.
Salt Lake police reported having three interactions with Bowen in the past month, including one within the past week. None of the interactions resulted in an arrest and none would be classified as negative, said Salt Lake Police Sgt. Brandon Shearer.
One of those interactions was for a mental health issue, he said.