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District attorney clears deputy in bank shootings

Officer praised for taking action to save hostage

SHARE District attorney clears deputy in bank shootings

The Salt Lake County sheriff's deputy who shot two men holding a woman hostage during an attempted bank robbery has been cleared by the Salt Lake District Attorney's Office.

A routine review of the shooting determined deputy Jeff Lone's actions were justified.

"His actions were lawfully taken in defense of himself and (the woman taken hostage)," stated a letter from the D.A.'s office to the sheriff's office. "Detective Lone had every right to protect himself by the use of deadly force when confronted by the bank robbers," the letter stated.

Lone was making a regular check of Washington Federal Savings, 3981 S. Wasatch Blvd., on Dec. 21 when he discovered the bank was being robbed.

The two armed robbers were alerted to Lone's presence and walked outside the bank holding a bank teller hostage before Lone had time to call for backup.

Lone drew his weapon and ordered the men to release the hostage. One man with a gun pointed his weapon at Lone. Lone opened fire, striking the man in the chest.

The second man was shot by Lone after he tried to grab his partner's gun. The woman, 54, suffered a minor injury after one of the bullets ricocheted into her knee.

One of the men is still in the hospital. The other has been transferred to the infirmary at the Utah State Prison.

The shooting will be reviewed by the sheriff's own Major Incident Review Board. But with the clearing from the district attorney, Lone has been taken off administrative leave and put back on full-time duty, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. Shane Hudson.

Sheriff Aaron Kennard said after the shootings occurred, Lone told him that he was not going to let the men take the woman away. "His whole goal was to protect the lady taken hostage," Kennard said. "It was either going to be him or the bank robber."

Kennard called Lone the "epitome of what I consider the cream of the crop. What a good deputy should be doing. And that is protecting the public."

The sheriff wrote Lone a letter commending him for his actions.

Lone has been with the sheriff's office for more than 20 years.

E-MAIL: preavy@desnews.com