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Sexual assault suspect killed by Ogden police had just met victim, chief says

SHARE Sexual assault suspect killed by Ogden police had just met victim, chief says
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Ogden Police Chief Eric Young speaks about Friday night’s fatal shooting of a sexual assault suspect during a briefing at the Francom Public Safety Building in Ogden on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

OGDEN — A sexual assault suspect shot and killed by Ogden police on Friday had just met his victim that evening, according to police.

On Sunday, Ogden Police Chief Eric Young gave an update on what prompted two of his officers to use deadly force.

Just after 7 p.m. Friday, a woman reported being the victim of a sexual assault, aggravated assault and robbery in the 100 block of 26th Street, Young said. The woman and the suspect had just met that evening and he went to a house she was at, the chief said. Young did not know Sunday the circumstances of how the two came in contact with each other.

The woman was not seriously injured, but the man took her car.

About 11:40 p.m., police spotted the stolen vehicle near 30th Street and Washington Boulevard. The man was inside the car with another woman, Young said.

“As officers approached the vehicle, the female immediately exited and surrendered to officers. The suspect exited from the driver’s seat and ran,” he said.

The man ran west and officers surrounded the area to search for him.

In the 2900 block of Grant Avenue, police found footprints in the snow that led to an open garage or shed at a nearby residence, the chief said. The footprints came to an end near a pickup truck that was parked under the shed.

As police were closing in, “the suspect stood up in the bed of the pickup truck armed with a handgun. The suspect refused to comply with commands from the officers. Two Ogden police officers fired their guns. The suspect was struck by the gunfire and died at the scene,” Young said.

As of Sunday, police had still not been able to identify the deceased man. Young said he is a Hispanic male in his 20s or 30s who is believed to be from out of state and had not been in northern Utah very long.

The shooting happened within a few seconds of police making contact with the man, after Young said he “overtly refused” to obey commands from officers to surrender.

The second woman who was in the man’s car was someone that the man had also just met and offered a ride, Young said. Police don’t know if she too was about to become a victim but note there was “always that potential.”

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Ogden Police Chief Eric Young pauses after speaking about Friday night’s fatal shooting of a sexual assault suspect during a briefing at the Francom Public Safety Building in Ogden on Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Both officers who shot the man have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation from the Weber County Attorney’s Office and an internal investigation. Both were wearing body cameras that were on when the shooting occurred, Young said.

The chief also said on Sunday that these kinds of events “bring focus to the challenging circumstances police officers face each day in their work. I’m very proud of the brave work our officers do in service for Ogden city every day.”