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Police release 911 call leading to fatal police shooting of Salt Lake man

The lone 911 call made on Jan. 8 that resulted in the fatal confrontation between a Salt Lake police officer and James Dudley Barker, 42, in the Avenues was released Tuesday.
The lone 911 call made on Jan. 8 that resulted in the fatal confrontation between a Salt Lake police officer and James Dudley Barker, 42, in the Avenues was released Tuesday.
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SALT LAKE CITY — "He is carrying a snow shovel door-to-door, and it's not snowing," the man can be heard telling the 911 dispatcher. "I would just like an officer to check him out."

The lone 911 call made on Jan. 8 that resulted in the fatal confrontation between a Salt Lake police officer and James Dudley Barker, 42, in the Avenues was released Tuesday through a Government Records Access and Management Act request by the Deseret News.

The 911 call, which lasted nearly six minutes, was made by a man who reported Barker was acting very suspicious. The man's name and address were redacted by police.

"I would like an officer to swing by my place as quickly as possible," he told the dispatcher, "because I've got a guy that's very suspicious walking in the Avenues. The other day, this guy — I'm 95 percent sure this same guy — was looking in cars."

At one point, the man speaks more softly as he apparently looks out his window to describe to the dispatcher where Barker was, what he was doing and what he was wearing.

"He's been going up and down the street," he said.

The man said Barker was going door-to-door asking about snow shoveling jobs, but skipped his house when he saw he was home.

"I did confront him before. He was knocking on my neighbor's door. He skipped my door because he had seen me in the driveway," he said.

Moments later, a Salt Lake police officer, whose name has not yet been released, was called to the area of 2nd Avenue and I Street and confronted Barker on a front porch. The confrontation was recorded on the officer's body camera.

The officer points out there's no snow on the walks to shovel.

"All right, well, I'll wait for it to snow again, and then I'll be back out," Barker eventually says.

The officer tells Barker that there have been calls from residents complaining about him.

The discussion appears to be drawing to a conclusion without incident until the officer insists on the man giving his name, which he was legally required to do.

Without warning, Barker's demeanor changes from calm to aggressive, and he screams at the officer, "I'm trying to make a living!"

"You need to calm down and quit yelling at me right now," the officer replies in a calm voice.

"Go back to your car. I'm doing my business," Barker angrily tells the officer while pointing his finger at him.

Less than two minutes after the officer arrives at the scene, Barker raises his shovel like a baseball bat and swings at the officer.

Chief Chris Burbank said his officer was hit seven times. Before the officer's body camera was disabled by the shovel, it showed a large chunk of the hard plastic shovel had been broken off from hitting the officer.

The officer's Taser was knocked from him by the shovel, Burbank said. The officer suffered fractured bones in his arm and foot.

As of Tuesday, the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office had not issued the results of its investigation into whether the shooting was justified.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam