Salt Lake City Erupts After Officer-Involved Shooting

 In Domestic

Salt Lake City Erupts After Officer-Involved Shooting

On Saturday night, two Salt Lake City police officers were called to break up a fight in the Rio Grande neighborhood. When they shot the man allegedly involved, an angry crowd erupted in hostility toward the police.

Police narrative

The two officers who responded were in the area from another call. When they arrived,  one man was hitting someone else with a broomstick.

Police stated that the man attempted to attack the officers so one or both of them shot him twice, once in the torso and once in the stomach. Though his name or age were not released by police, media reports that he is listed in critical condition as of Sunday morning.

As the crowd grew hostile, there was a multi-agency response to the situation. The incident is under investigation, and police are calling for anyone with a cell phone video of the incident to come forward.

salt lake city

Twitter photo of the wounded man’s friend, Selam Mohammad

The Other Narrative

The police narrative was challenged by a friend of the young boy shot, Selam Mohammad. He claimed that his friend was holding the broomstick at his side, and the police told him to drop it once before they started shooting. The scene quickly turned hostile, as people began throwing rocks and bottles at officers.

The wounded person was identified by friends as teenager Abdi Mohamed, from Kenya. Conflicting reports put him as 16 or 17 years old.

NBC News reported,

Nearly 100 officers — some in riot gear — were involved in the multiagency response, KSL reported.

In audio published by the online archive service Broadcastify, a male officer is heard requesting “a bunch of units” come “quickly” to help push back the crowd.

“Let’s get them off this street… and get medical in here,” a voice says.

An officer warns “be advised, they are throwing bigger rocks” and later “we need more units… there is glass and other items being thrown.”

There were preliminary reports that officers were injured by thrown objects but Wilkeng said he could not confirm that information.

“It is still quite volatile here,” Wilkeng [Wilking] told a news conference.

Rio Grande neighborhood

The neighborhood of Rio Grand in SLC has been a heavy crime district in the past. Some businesses have invested thousands of dollars into security cameras.

In August, according to Fox13, the addition of 32 more bike patrols and increased officer presence over a 28 day period netted “345 arrests, seized $85,000 worth of drugs and recovered 160 stolen shopping carts–representing $56,000 of stolen property.” But it was only a temporary fix.

The area also has a large homeless population.


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