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Granite officer faces probes over shooting

At least two separate investigations will be conducted into the shooting of a man by a Granite School District officer Wednesday night.

The man remained at a local hospital Thursday, where he was in non-life-threatening condition.

Granite School District officers and Salt Lake City police were staking out a residence near 800 West and 1300 South when they spotted three people leaving. A 20-minute car chase ensued and ended near 600 South and 400 East when the people's car crashed into a building.

When the two men and one woman exited the car, one of the men was confronted by a Granite District officer. Some type of threat was made toward the officer, and the officer fired in self-defense, striking the man once, according to police.

Now, the Salt Lake City Police Department and the District Attorney's Office will conduct a standard investigation into the shooting, said Granite School District spokesman Randy Ripplinger.

The school district will also conduct its own internal review of what happened up until the time of the shooting, he said. That investigation will focus on such areas as how the case originated and why and how school district police were involved.

Ripplinger said it appeared at least some of the three people had warrants out for their arrests. They were also wanted for investigation in recent thefts involving district property as well as other personal property, he said.

Statistically, Ripplinger called shootings and car chases "atypical" for the district's police force.

"They don't commonly get involved with this type of activity," he said.

However, Ripplinger also noted that Granite officers are fully certified to perform the same duties as officers from city police departments and frequently work with other agencies.

"Students and criminals don't pay attention to district boundaries," said Ripplinger, noting that sometimes district officers have to travel outside the school district to solve cases.


E-mail: preavy@desnews.com