SALT LAKE CITY — A man wanted by the Metro Gang Unit and U.S. marshals was shot and killed during a downtown confrontation with police late Thursday.
It is the fifth officer-involved shooting along the Wasatch Front in a little over a week.
On Thursday, members of the Metro Gang Unit, which consists of officers from across the Wasatch Front, and the U.S. marshal's Violent Fugitive Apprehension Team spotted Andrey Tkachenko, 23, of Salt Lake City, who was wanted in connection with several recent felony crimes.
The officers, in unmarked vehicles, followed his car and a second vehicle until they could find the right place to attempt to make an arrest, said Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray.
About 10:30 p.m., the two vehicles pulled into an ally near 455 E. 300 South. It was there that a confrontation took place between officers and Tkachenko, Gray said. The officers were outside their vehicles when something prompted two officers to shoot, she said.
Ben Williams, who lives in an apartment nearby, said he heard five to 10 shots. When he looked out his window, he saw the officers had boxed the two vehicles in, and officers pulled the driver out of the car that officers shot at. Police then gave medical attention to that driver, he said.
A handgun was recovered at the scene, according to Gray.
A Unified police officer and an officer from the Saratoga Springs Police Department fired their weapons, she said. Tkachenko died en route to the hospital.
Two officers suffered minor injuries. The Saratoga Springs officer who fired his gun was treated at a local hospital for a knee injury, Gray said. It was not revealed how he suffered that injury. A second officer was injured while climbing a fence trying to get to the scene.
One other man who was in the car with Tkachenko ran off but was arrested a short time later on outstanding warrants, Gray said. The second car contained two women who were detained and questioned by officers but not arrested.
Saratoga Springs Police Chief Andy Burton said his officer is experienced and has been with the gang unit for over five years. He also said Tkachenko was on parole.
Court records show Tkachenko had a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for theft, burglary, drug possession, and in at least one case firing shots at a woman. He also had a history of fleeing from police, according to police records.
On Dec. 6, 2017, police were looking for Tkachenko in a Lexus after previously fleeing from officers in Midvale. "While fleeing, Andrey attempted to strike a Midvale patrol officer," a Salt Lake County Jail report states.
When Tkachenko again tried to drive away from officers, they had tire spikes already set up because of his history of "constantly" fleeing from law enforcement, according to the report.
West Valley police will conduct the independent review of Thursday's shooting.
The incident marked the fifth police shooting in Utah since Oct. 10.
• On Wednesday, a Unified police officer shot James Lyle Kuehn, 61, of Kearns, who allegedly had just robbed a Mexican restaurant at knifepoint. Kuehn remained hospitalized in critical condition Thursday.15 comments on this story
• On Oct. 12, Jacob E. Albrethsen, 17, was shot and killed by Orem police officers responding to a "family problem" involving Albrethsen and a woman. While the officers were inside the home, Albrethsen came at them "armed with a knife," according to police.
• On Oct. 11, Diamonte Riviore, 22, was shot and killed by a West Jordan police officer responding to a domestic violence call. Riviore, who had a history of threatening his ex-girlfriend, was holding a knife when officers arrived, police say.
• On Oct. 10, a Tooele police officer looking for a man wanted in a domestic violence-related assault shot at Christopher Michael Ono, 27, after Ono allegedly pointed a gun at the officer. No one was injured, and Ono was arrested and later charged.