COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Police body camera footage released Wednesday shows the moments following the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old Cottonwood Heights man in May.
In the 11-minute video released Wednesday, the officer rushes up to the scene of a man facedown on the ground, handcuffed. A half-dozen officers are shown recovering a gun from the waistband of Zane Anthony James, who was suspected in armed robberies of two Sandy grocery stores.
Police then rip open James' jacket, exposing a gunshot wound to his left shoulder, and begin applying tourniquets. Blood can be seen on the left knee and right thigh of his pants, indicating he also was shot in the leg.
As they render aid, several officers ask James for his name and urge him to "stay with us" and "just breathe."
After they turn James over, he nods slightly when asked if he needs water.
One officer asks, "How many shots did you fire?"
"Three or four," another replies.
James died of his injuries two days later.
No video was recorded of the officer, who was on his way to work, firing at James after police say he fled on a dirt bike and then on foot the morning of May 29.
Cottonwood Heights Police Lt. Dan Bartlett revealed Wednesday one other officer was present at the time of the shooting. No additional information about what led up to the shooting was released.
Warning: The following video, which has been edited by Cottonwood Heights Police Department, contains graphic and potentially disturbing content.
Officers were changing shifts at the time of the early morning shooting, and just one officer arrived with a camera at the scene in the neighborhood near 6675 S. 2200 East. Cottonwood Heights police turn in their cameras at the end of their shifts in order to charge them and upload footage, he said.
"I wish we could plan for everything and be able to say we had a bulletproof plan. We don't. It's unfortunate it happened at this time in the morning," Bartlett said, when asked if the department was considering changing its protocol.
Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill said Wednesday he had received the Salt Lake Police Department's investigation of the shooting. Gill declined to give a timeline on his review of the probe, saying he also is weighing whether to bring charges in other officer-involved shootings.
The faces of those in the video were blurred prior to its release.
Bartlett said "we feel it's appropriate" to obscure James' face.
Officers' identities also are concealed, said Sgt. Ryan Shosted, because "we want to give the district attorney the option to release the information as they deem most appropriate."
Cottonwood Heights police said James earlier that morning robbed a pair of Sandy grocery stores: Smith's Food and Drug, 2039 E. 9400 South, and then a Macey's grocery store, 7850 S. 1300 East.
Days earlier, "Officers had been chasing around a dirt bike that kept fleeing from them," Bartlett said. A Cottonwood Heights police officer who was on his way to work spotted the bike and turned on his lights, but James fled, continuing running on foot after wrecking his bike on a speed bump, Bartlett said.
Sandy officers reported over radio that the bike matched a description of one driven by a suspect in the reported Sandy robberies, Bartlett said. He declined to say what led to the gunfire.3 comments on this story
The name of the officer who shot James has not been released. He is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, Bartlett said.
Days before the shooting, two warrants were issued for James' arrest after he failed to appear in court.
Last year, he was arrested in connection with a series of armed robberies in Cottonwood Heights, but two counts of aggravated robbery were dismissed. He pleaded guilty to drug possession in March 2017, but he failed to comply with conditions of his probation and was charged in a second drug case in February.