Man dies after being shot by passerby during alleged assault in Provo

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  • Michael Robinson, Sr. Bluffdale, UT
    June 8, 2019 9:13 a.m.

    As a concealed permit holder, I am very aware of my responsibility to both protect and preserve lives. I have considered various situations, asking myself what I would do. There is no easy answer. In anything but the worst of threats, I would probably not use my gun. Between the guilt of having killed or maimed another person and the legal consequences that may arise from such an act, I know my life would never be the same. That said, it is my belief that there is usually an alternative to firing a gun, and only the best, instant consideration of the circumstances can prevent loss of life. In the end, I have no way to make an assessment of whether or not the shooter, in this particular case, did the right thing.

  • BeKinder , UT
    June 5, 2019 7:52 p.m.

    The man who shot Sorensen did the right thing. Proud of this guy for potentially saving this young woman. He had every right to shoot Sorensen, and the young woman who was assaulted is very lucky to be alive and out of the hands of her attacker. Well done.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    June 5, 2019 7:48 a.m.

    fani - wj, UT
    June 4, 2019 12:54 p.m.
    @ ConservativeCommonTater

    "Poem I shot a bullet into the air, it came down, I know not where..."

    "Are you serious? I don't know how much you know about science but a falling object in order cause harm has a lot to do with it's weight. A bullet weighs about half an ounce you will get hurt more from a falling half inch hail than from a falling bullet."

    Quite simply, you're wrong.

    I was slightly off on my quote:

    The Arrow and the Song

    By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    I shot an arrow into the air,
    It fell to earth, I knew not where;
    For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
    Could not follow it in its flight.

    I breathed a song into the air,
    It fell to earth, I knew not where;
    For who has sight so keen and strong,
    That it can follow the flight of song?

    Long, long afterward, in an oak
    I found the arrow, still unbroke;
    And the song, from beginning to end,
    I found again in the heart of a friend.

  • Chessermesser West Valley City, UT
    June 4, 2019 10:04 p.m.

    The lady was getting pounded. The shooter saw the vicious assault, stepped out of his car, warned the man to stop hitting her, and then shot when the man refused to comply. He’s a hero. He did everything right.

  • FelisConcolor Layton, UT
    June 4, 2019 8:54 p.m.

    In addition to basic gun safety, some people here need to review the law as well.

    UCA 76-2-402(2)(b) states "An individual is justified in using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury only if the individual reasonably believes that force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to the individual or another individual as a result of imminent use of unlawful force, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony."

    UCA 76-2-402(1)(a) and (b) define "forcible felony" as "aggravated assault" or "...any other felony offense that involves the use of force or violence against an individual that poses a substantial danger of death or serious bodily injury."

    There are numerous factors which come into play here; the imminence of the threat of bodily injury to the woman, how severely she was injured, how badly she was being beaten, and how reasonable was the shooter's belief that she was in danger of death or severe bodily injury.

    However, given the facts as outlined by the news and assuming the prosecutor follows the law, I do not see any charges being filed.

  • AT Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 4, 2019 8:51 p.m.

    Two shots, two hits. Well done. Woman had a concussion. That's just a few pounds of force away from a life-threatening injury. Good assessment of the conditions, again well done. Were it my daughter, I'd not have wanted him to call the police and wait while she continued to get pounded - she could have been in a coma or worse by the time they showed up. Remember, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    June 4, 2019 6:16 p.m.

    Any way you look at it, your going to have to live with it, the regrets, if by doing nothing or doing something.

  • SpÄter73 Hughson, CA
    June 4, 2019 6:10 p.m.

    procuradorfiscal brings up a good point.

    Where are the headlines and stories about the lives saved because of gun "violence" or the threat of gun "violence"? I doubt those statistics are looked at (maybe not even available) because they don't support the narrative that guns are bad.

  • Antes Provo, UT
    June 4, 2019 6:07 p.m.

    I'm always amazed at how many people think all the facts of the situation need to be presented to them so that they can make a decision on the case. Why? It's not your job. Seriously, do you think that someone like you, one with no law experience, can make the right decision based on what is presented in the media? As the article said, detectives are still holding interviews and the County Attorney will decide if there is any reason to press charges. Give it a break with all you "armchair" prosecuting.

  • Instereo Eureka, UT
    June 4, 2019 4:50 p.m.

    Bottom line, someone is dead that maybe shouldn't be. No matter what happens to the shooter, he's either going to wonder about his decision and if he could have or should have done it differently. Is being judge and jury in the heat of the moment with a gun really the way we want justice to be applied on our state?

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    June 4, 2019 4:33 p.m.

    "Since the weight of the of the bullet is so small any damage by a falling bullet is very negligible." — fani

    Bullets fired into the air have caused fatal injuries.

    In 1985 and 1992, a study of 118 people struck by falling bullets was conducted by physicians at Martin Luther/ Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles. It came to the following conclusions.

    A falling bullet has a far higher chance of causing death than one from a regular shooting. Regular shootings result in deaths 2% to 6% of the time. However, for those unlucky enough to get hit by a falling bullet, the death rate was close to one third. The reason it's higher is that they were more likely to get hit in the head. And though the bullets were traveling much slower, they were still capable of smashing skulls, especially if they were from a larger caliber weapon.

    Admittedly, however, even a gunshot into the ground can have consequences by ricocheting off a rock and striking an unintended target. That's a grave responsibility gun owners need to consider well in advance of ever pulling out their gun.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    June 4, 2019 3:32 p.m.

    RE: NoNamesAccepted

    1. How do you know what other people with guns think or fantasize about? Training is not required for a license. Only police officers or possibly military personnel have a level of training to shoot accurately in a high stress situation.
    2. There are more options then shooting or standing back doing nothing. I would put them in a arm-head throw and hold them on the ground until the police arrive, of course you do run the risk of being attacked by the woman.
    3. Calling the police and telling them to stop from a distance is a reasonable thing to do. What is a problem is when people will not do anything to help.
    4. I do not remember the Good Samaritan story including a shooting by the Good Samaritan.
    5. It’s not just people with guns who help other people.

  • Canneryrow St. George, UT
    June 4, 2019 3:26 p.m.

    Re: No Names Accepted

    2AP can be just as easily flipped from "2nd amendment paranoid" to 2nd amendment proponent" either way the results remain the same. You make valid points that are instructive. We live in a society where it is important that each persons rights are valued. I know that I grow weary of reading about gun deaths and even wearier when the rhetoric starts flying back and forth between the pro-gun and anti-gun factions. It would be nice to see an honest and meaningful dialogue that changed the status quo for the betterment where both sides became one..

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    June 4, 2019 2:38 p.m.

    Every man with a gun thinks he is Wyatt Earp and this is the Old West. You aren't and it ain't.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    June 4, 2019 2:30 p.m.

    @fani - wj:

    Please do some research before handling another firearm. A bullet fired vertically into the air will reach a terminal velocity of some 90 meters per second (~300 fps) as it returns to earth. Bullets traveling at 60 meters per second (~200 fps) can be fatal to humans. It is impossible to predict where a bullet fired into the air will come down.

    A few ancedotes to back up the data:

    •On average, 2 people are killed and 25 more injured each year in Puerto Rico from falling bullets following "celebratory" gun fire such as at new years.

    •Between 1985 and 1992, the King/Drew Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, treated 118 people for random falling-bullet injuries. Thirty-eight of them died.

    •4 people were killed and 17 wounded by falling bullets in Baghdad, following the victory of the national football team in the AFC Asian Cup.

    •Firing a bullet into the air is a felony in five States. In many others, a "warning shot" can be viewed as evidence no shot was yet needed.

    We do not shoot to warn, nor to kill. We shoot to stop an immediate, imminent, credible threat to innocent life and limb. Death or severe injury are unfortunate side effects of ending the threat.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    June 4, 2019 2:20 p.m.

    1-Nobody "fantasizes" about having to use a firearm in lawful defense of innocent life or limb. People train for and then hope to never have to use their firearm. The data backs this us as we see only 2 permits out of every 1,000 issued, get revoked for cause. And that includes non-weapons-realated issues like DUI or shoplifting.

    2-If the victim--the woman being assaulted by a man--were your wife, sister, or daughter, how long do you want the passerby to wait before ending the attack? Do you want him to stand and take video for 5 minutes while he calls 911 and waits of the police to arrive? How many punches do you want your loved one to absorb?

    3-Yet again we see the 2AP (2nd amd paranoid) folks putting gun owners in the "danged if they do, darned if they don't" position. When a gun owner doesn't act to protect others we are chastised for not helping. When a gun owner does act, he is accused of being a reckless Rambo.

    4-The good Samaritan is cooperating with police and has not been arrested. The victim required treatment at the hospital. And the deceased assailant has--surprise, surprise--a prior violent criminal record. I'll await details; Today benefit of doubt for gun owner.

  • fani wj, UT
    June 4, 2019 1:07 p.m.

    "A warning shot into the ground."

    The damages caused by a bullet has a lot to do with the bullet speed as the gun is fired. It is too dangerous to fire into the ground because of the rate of speed the bullet travel. It is much safer to fire into the sky where the atmosphere will absorb the speed of the bullet. Since the weight of the of the bullet is so small any damage by a falling bullet is very negligible.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    June 4, 2019 1:05 p.m.

    Technically, assault doesn't even require contact. Just apprehension.

    The passerby was so in tune with the woman's feelings that he instinctively knew she felt her space violated. You're all about feelings, right?

    I guess we weren't there. I'm thinking there was some battery involved since the woman went to the hospital. The victim was asked to stop, so it must have been something substantial.

    I'm persuaded that the problem for some people is the weapon of choice. Substitute rock or tire iron or even knife for the bullet used, and more people would call him a hero. The illness is 2AP, or 2nd Amendment Phobia.

  • fani wj, UT
    June 4, 2019 12:54 p.m.

    @ ConservativeCommonTater

    "Poem I shot a bullet into the air, it came down, I know not where..."

    Are you serious? I don't know how much you know about science but a falling object in order cause harm has a lot to do with it's weight. A bullet weighs about half an ounce you will get hurt more from a falling half inch hail than from a falling bullet.

  • OneCougar FR, 00
    June 4, 2019 12:54 p.m.

    Whether or not the shot was legally justified will be decided by the investigation. As stated in the article, " you can only use deadly force against deadly force" in Utah. Regardless of the legal outcome, I agree that there are usually better ways to break up fights than irrevocably taking a life unless the person is using a deadly weapon.

    @t702 - You should never fire "a warning shot to the sky." What goes up also comes down. You could kill a child playing in her back yard, or an old man out for a walk several streets over. In that part of Provo, more likely someone going about their business in any of the nearby apartment complexes or homes, someone driving down University Avenue, or a student on BYU campus (only 3 blocks away).

  • Semper Fidelis Layton, UT
    June 4, 2019 12:17 p.m.

    For the rest of his life, this guy will have to live with the fact that he killed another human. Even in military service and police service this fact haunts people. Those promoting concealed carry often fantasize about these sorts of encounters, but in stark reality they are nothing but haunting.

    This man will have to go through a trial to determine if his choice to use deadly force was justifiable. That will haunt him too.

    Something for each person to think about before going down the conceal carry/open carry path. Normal people can't easily move on from taking another human's life.

  • AZ Blue & Red Gilbert, AZ
    June 4, 2019 12:08 p.m.

    This case should prove interesting as to what you can and can not do to stop violence.

    Justified or not?

    I think we need more of this story to make a judgement. Thinking you almost had to be there. I think I will refrain from any judgement until we get all the facts. Something had to be done but I guess the question is did he do what he should have? Not like he had tons of time to think it out.

    So if the women being attached was his wife or daughter would that make a difference in this situation and or decision?

    Things to think about

  • bachelors of science Brigham City, UT
    June 4, 2019 12:02 p.m.

    @ Say No to Bo
    “If you ask me, the guy deserves a medal for stopping the assault.”

    Slapping someone across the face is considered assault.

    Do people deserve to get shot for slapping someone?

  • well informed Bountiful, UT
    June 4, 2019 11:55 a.m.

    The Utah County Attorneys Office should press charges in order to be fair.

    This is a slippery slope. We can’t let people with guns just drive around and shoot whoever looks like the bad guy.

  • ZION4MAN Salt Lake City, UT
    June 4, 2019 11:52 a.m.

    In response to t702-Las Vegas, NV. Someone who has refused your command to stop, after you have told them you would shoot, is not going to be deterred by a warning shot.
    When that person is less than 30 feet from you, charging at you, you would be lucky to get off a shot before he got to you much less have the luxury of having the target stay still so you could shoot only an arm or a leg. Double tap to center mass is the safest response in this situation.

  • rvalens2 Burley, ID
    June 4, 2019 11:44 a.m.

    I agree with Canneryrow. Let's have our laws amended in such a way that they clearly spell out the responsibilities of gun ownership — especially when it comes to using deadly force.

    Here is what I recommend for a law.

    1. A verbal warning that you are armed.
    2. A warning shot into the ground.
    3. Shooting as a last resort.

    The exception to this law would be that you shot first because you truly believed that yourself, or someone else, was in imminent danger of death. Though that can be broadly interpreted, I trust juries and prosecutors to make those decisions.

    In a civilized society, taking someone's life — even a criminal's — should always be regarded as the last step. I think this is a compromise most of us can support.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    June 4, 2019 11:31 a.m.

    Re: ". . . guns continue to be involved in the taking of human life."

    Yeah, and the saving of human life, as well.

    The anti-gun gang will never admit it, of course -- except by their actions of hiding behind armed guards and police -- but guns are more often involved in the saving of lives, than in the taking of them.

    We clearly don't have enough facts to make a final judgment in this case, but the fact that police did not make an arrest suggests this was the use of a gun to save life, rather than the situation the gun-ban crowd clearly is hoping for, so they can use this incident to further their gun-ban sophistry.

  • ConservativeCommonTater Salt Lake City, UT
    June 4, 2019 11:24 a.m.

    t702 - Las Vegas, NV
    June 4, 2019 10:18 a.m.
    "What happen to firing a warning shot to the sky or shoot the arm or leg? He went straight to a kill shot, hope he has good justifications for such deadly action"

    you're kidding, right? Maybe he could have just "winged him" like in the old movies? Get back to those Hoppalong Cassidy movies.

    Poem" I shot a bullet into the air, it came down, I know not where..."

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    June 4, 2019 11:07 a.m.

    The guy that shot the assailant is not a "gunman". The D-News makes it sound like he was the aggressor, which isn't the case. C'mon D-News, revise your story.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    June 4, 2019 10:40 a.m.

    Here we go. He coulda-woulda-shoulda.

    The "Guns are icky," crowd will launch their narrative. But they'll have to be careful or it might sound like they actually support the cops.

    We'll see how "busy" the Utah County Prosecutor is now.

    If you ask me, the guy deserves a medal for stopping the assault.

  • Canneryrow St. George, UT
    June 4, 2019 10:21 a.m.

    Each day we wake up to the news that someone has shot someone else. There is too little reported here to form an opinion on this incident but the fact remains that guns continue to be involved in the taking of human life. The Virginia Beach shooting barely made the front page. What we are doing or not doing here in Utah and in the USA is simply just making us numb to the headlines. The pro-gun lobby parades out their response; the anti-gun lobby parades out their response; tomorrow we will wake up, hopefully, again and read of another gun related death(s).

    Japan has a pretty good model. Why not have Utah follow up their .05 dui legislation with a gun bill that adds responsibility to the sacred right of owning a gun.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    June 4, 2019 10:18 a.m.

    What happen to firing a warning shot to the sky or shoot the arm or leg? He went straight to a kill shot, hope he has good justifications for such deadly action

  • CJ Miles Dallas, TX
    June 4, 2019 9:35 a.m.

    Why would you not just call the cops? Maybe he did? Not sure what was going on so bad that he had to shoot the dude? This story is missing a lot of info.

    June 4, 2019 9:33 a.m.

    I hope the gunman acted in good faith with the shooting otherwise he deserves some jail time. For me good faith means he reasonably expected the woman or himself to be in imminent threat of death or great bodily injury. Shooting someone is a drastic measure to stop a dispute or fight.