HERRIMAN — A Unified police officer was justified in firing at a man who police say broke into an apartment moments later and shot the homeowner, Salt Lake County's top prosecutor said Thursday.
Unified police officer Trevor Weeks had reason to believe that Justin Llewelyn, who has been charged with attempted murder and a range of other crimes, might kill him or someone else on Jan. 20, District Attorney Sim Gill said.
Llewelyn, 33, was uninjured.
Gill won't file criminal charges against Weeks, one of three responding officers but the only to fire his weapon that day.
A five-day manhunt led to Llewelyn's capture in Spanish Fork Jan. 24.
About 6 a.m. on Jan. 20, Unified Sgt. Richard Wilson told colleagues via radio that he traced snowy footprints near parked cars to a possible burglar and ordered him to stop, but the man fled and fired at him.
Unified officer Dustin Olzack and Wilson shouted "just give up," Wilson told investigators who reviewed the policeman's decision to fire, but the man fled.
Weeks arrived to help and came across the man, then saw flashes and heard pops of gunshots, he said. He believed the suspect fired at him four times, telling investigators "I was scared that if I didn't do something, he was going to advance back and kill me," so he returned three rounds.
Weeks yelled at him to drop the gun but the man fled and the officer lost sight of him. Weeks told investigators he stopped pursuing the man because he believed the gunman sought to barricade himself and was contained to a backyard. But the suspect broke into the apartment, shot the homeowner twice and stole his car. The victim was expected to fully recover.
None of the officers was wearing a body camera, Gill wrote. Investigators from Salt Lake City police considered surveillance video and police scanner recordings, interviews with the officers and witnesses, and casings from two guns recovered at the scene.
"It was a terrible event that caused a lot of concern in the community," Gill said.