SOUTH SALT LAKE — Jeffrey Black admits he and Felix Calata heard officers yell "police, stop!" a Salt Lake County Jail report notes.
But according to Black, that's when Calata said an expletive before he "accelerated, in an attempt to flee, driving toward the police officers. Jeffrey Black stated he believed they ran over what he thought was a mailbox," the report states.
Instead, the car had just run over South Salt Lake officer David Romrell, who later died as a result of his injuries.
Monday night, a day after initially being released by police, Black was arrested and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated murder, aggravated assault, burglary, obstruction of justice, three counts of failure to stop for a law enforcer and interfering with an arrest.
More details surrounding the fatal confrontation were revealed Tuesday with the release of Black's booking report.
Saturday night, Romrell and another officer were called to a report of a burglary in progress at 3575 S. West Temple. Black told police that he went there with Calata to "collect a debt," the report states. He said Calata used a crowbar in an attempt to get in the building but was unsuccessful, according to the report.
The two men were about to leave "when he saw the police officers with their red and blue lights activated on their vehicles. Jeffrey Black stated he heard the police officers yelling, 'Police, stop!'" the report states.
After Romrell had been hit and shots were fired, Black said Calata got out of the car and Black "steered the vehicle toward a pole crashing the vehicle," the report states. Black then got out of the car and ran.
"Felix was transported to an area hospital where he died from gunshot wounds upon arrival," the report stated.
Black found a boat being stored nearby and hid inside it for over an hour until he was found by police using K-9s, police stated.
But after he was taken into custody, Black was released. Police said at the time they didn't have enough evidence to arrest him.
On Tuesday, Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray further explained, "At the initial time, probable cause was not established. We did not have enough probable cause to book him into jail."
South Salt Lake police detective Gary Keller admitted Monday that many, including Romrell's widow, were shocked when Black was let go. Keller acknowledged that some investigations take time to develop. But he said Romrell's widow urged detectives to take a second look at the case.
"Through investigative efforts, it was learned Jeffrey Black had given false information to the detectives regarding his involvement," the jail report states.
Without getting into specifics about evidence, Gray said additional items were collected and an additional interview was conducted, giving police the probable cause they needed to arrest Black.
After being released on Sunday, Black called police on Monday and asked if he could get some of his belongings back, according to the report. When he arrived at the police station, he agreed to answer more questions from investigators. This time he admitted being present during the alleged burglary attempt as well as driving the car at one point, according to the report.
Unified police also clarified Tuesday that they would be conducting both the officer-involved critical incident for the shooting death of Calata by police, as well as Romrell's death allegedly by Calata and Black.
Black's lengthy criminal history includes mainly drug and drug-related crimes, such as forgery and theft, according to court records. Black also has ties to Kanab and was recently convicted of misdemeanor assault in a domestic violence-related case. He was scheduled to be sentenced in that case on Thursday. According to a letter from Salt Lake Behavioral Health to the judge in that case in July, Black was seeking treatment for substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Tuesday, standing in front of a growing memorial in the south parking lot of the South Salt Lake Police Department where Romrell's patrol car is parked and decorated with ribbons and pictures, officers from the department were still overcome with emotion as they thanked the community.3 comments on this story
"Everywhere I go I hear, 'What can we do?' We've had so many donations," said Lt. Jim Anderson, who joked the patrol room was so full of donuts and hot dogs that the department would have to administer physical therapy tests again. "We wanted to thank everyone for the kindness they've offered our agency and the family itself."
A tree was also donated to the Festival of Trees to be auctioned Tuesday with all proceeds going to the Romrell family.
The funeral for Romrell was tentatively scheduled for Dec. 5 at the Maverik Center.