“He’s got my gun!” a panicked Utah police officer calls out.
Then again, louder and with greater panic in his voice.
“He’s got my gun!!”
Authorities have just released footage of the moments leading up to the fatal shooting of a DUI suspect in Utah after he reportedly grabbed an officer’s gun and tried to use it against him.
The incident occurred on August 23, and by the time it was over, the suspect was dead.
West Valley City police in Utah had just arrested Michael Chad Breinholt after a caller said that he had driven to a local business and was “causing a ruckus”.
West Valley Police Chief Colleen Jacobs says the man who was shot and killed while in police custody had a “firm grip” on an officer’s gun.
The man, Chad Michael Breinholt, was handcuffed when he allegedly tried to take an officer’s gun. https://t.co/IqrKaxnpwZ
— KSL Newsradio (@kslnewsradio) September 6, 2019
Officers suspected Breinholt had been driving while intoxicated and placed him under arrest. When they brought him back to the jail facility to begin booking, that’s when things escalated.
The video shows the small area where Breinholt was seated while going through the process. It’s a small room with a desk and some chairs, along with a breathalyzer and some drug testing equipment. It’s not uncommon for unruly suspects to put up a fight, but it’s very rarely the scene of a fatal encounter…
Breinholt stands up and tells one of the officers that he has a gun in his shoe. The officer responds that it’s fine, but to sit down and let him retrieve it. The officer doesn’t go for the shoe right away, and Breinholt continues to try standing.
“You don’t want to fight with me. You definitely don’t want to fight with this guy,” one officer says, gesturing to the other officer in the room. “Just sit your a** and stay, okay?”
Eventually the officer reaches over and asks for the suspect’s shoe. All of sudden, the officer and Breinholt are locked in a struggle, and panic sets in as the officer realizes what’s happening.
“F— he’s got my gun. He’s got my gun!” the officer screams.
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A third officer rushes inside the crowded room as the police struggle to regain control of the situation.
“You’re about to die, my friend,” one of the officers can be heard saying. Then, all of sudden, gunshots ring out as an officer opens fire on Breinholt. Only a single shot was fired.
“Stop grabbing the gun!” another officer yells as Breinholt goes to the ground.
Another officer confirms that Breinholt was gone after he is seen lying on the ground with a pool of blood surrounding his head.
The New York Post featured the video in an article. It contains graphic content. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police Chief Colleen Jacobs gave a formal statement at a press briefing following the fatal encounter. She says that officers never know what they’re up against when someone comes in for booking.
“Some people become combative. Some people are very compliant. Some people become passive aggressive. Some people turn into a lump of potatoes and won’t cooperate with anything,” Jacobs said. “To have one escalate to this level is unique to us.”
The Salt Lake Tribune reported that Utah police are justified in using deadly force if they believe it will prevent death or serious injury to themselves or someone else.
An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.
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