SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County District Attorney's office has determined that two police officers who shot and killed a man were justified because they had to shoot to save their lives.
Salt Lake police officers responded to a call of a man with a gun May 1 after a witness told dispatchers that Favian Martinez, 20, had pointed a gun at him, according to a statement from the DA's office.
Apparently, the witness got involved in a dispute between Martinez and a woman, prompting Martinez to threaten the witness and then flee into a nearby apartment complex.
Two officers arrived at the complex at 245 E. South Temple and began to look for Martinez, but the man was able to escape out of the back apartment building, according to the DA. The same witness saw Martinez and reported the movements to dispatchers, who passed the information to officers Bradley Shupe and Kory Olsen, who were just arriving at the scene.
Shupe and Olsen spotted Martinez, turned on their emergency lights and repeatedly told the man to put his hands in the air. Instead, prosecutors say, Martinez raised his gun and pointed it at one of the officers. Both Shupe and Olsen fired a total of five shots, including two that were deemed fatal.
The officers were cleared under a state statute that says police officers are "justified in using deadly force when the officer reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to the officer or another person."
Martinez's mother told the media after the shooting that there was an outstanding warrant for his son and he may have fled in an effort to avoid jail time.
— Emiley Morgan