Salt Lake City officers shoot man after mental health outreach team requests police backup

The shooting happened in the garage of the Sugar House home, police said.

(Colby Peterson | Salt Lake Tribune) Investigators discuss a shooting by Salt Lake City police that occurred at around 900 East and 1700 South on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.

Two Salt Lake City police officers shot and critically injured a 37-year-old man Tuesday in Sugar House after the Mobile Crisis Response Team called for police assistance, a police spokesman said at the scene.

The shooting happened shortly after 11:30 a.m. at a home near 900 East and 1700 South after police said the Huntsman Mental Health Institute Mobile Crisis Response Team was already in the area and called Salt Lake City police for backup. copy, said the police spokesman. he said.

Mobile crisis teams consist of both trained, licensed clinicians and peer support specialists who provide support to people experiencing a mental health crisis. It was unclear as of Tuesday why the team initially responded to the home.

When the field crew arrived, the 37-year-old man was in a detached garage at the home. Together, the responsible social workers and a family member made contact with him, the police said. It is not clear what prompted the field team to seek police support.

When police arrived, they met with social workers and the family member, who together led officers to the detached garage, police said.

While inside the garage, social workers and the relative spoke with the man, police said. That’s when police said the man reached for a weapon. Then both officers fired.

It is not clear what type of weapon the man was reaching for; the police did not elaborate. No police officers were injured in the shootout.

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“Today our officers took action to protect two social workers and a family member during a split-second incident,” Police Chief Mike Brown said in a statement Tuesday night.

“Our officers were asked by social workers to respond to this call for their protection and assistance,” Brown said in a statement. “These are situations that are never predictable, but our two officers involved relied on their training and experience to protect others and themselves.”

After the shooting, responding officers along with Salt Lake City Fire Department personnel administered first aid to the man before he was taken to a local hospital. Police said the man, who has not been identified, he suffered serious injuries.

The two Salt Lake City police officers who opened fire have been placed on administrative leave in accordance with department procedure, a police spokesman said.

According to the Huntsman Institute of Mental Health, when a call comes in to the Utah crisis line that could result in the deployment of a mobile field service team, “thorough” risk assessments are conducted over the phone to determine if it would be safe for the team to respond, said Rachel Lucinski, director of the Community Crisis Services Institute.

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“It’s unusual to require law enforcement backup and backup, but it does happen,” Lucinski said. “In general, ours [mobile crisis outreach team] staff will call law enforcement for backup or on-site support if a risk assessment determines that there may be a potential security threat to our staff.”

Lucinski did not elaborate on the nature of Tuesday’s call to the crisis line, which later resulted in a police shooting.

It marked the 16th police shooting in Utah so far this year, according to a database maintained by The Salt Lake Tribune.

(Colby Peterson | The Salt Lake Tribune) Police vehicles surround the scene of a shooting at about 900 East and 1700 South on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022.


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