SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 11, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Police have released the body camera video of six officers involved in the July 9 police shooting of an arson suspect who was threatening to open fire on firefighters and officers at 1423 S. Utahna Dr. in Salt Lake City.
“Statements in this release are based on a preliminary review of limited information available at the time of this writing,” says an SLCPD news release posted Wednesday afternoon on social media. “A thorough investigation is being conducted by an outside agency, pursuant to the Officer-Involved-Critical-Incident Protocol.
“The video footage released today captures the Officer Involved Critical Incident from the body-worn cameras of the two, and only known, SLCPD officers who discharged their duty weapons and four other SLCPD officers who were on scene and whose body-worn camera captured audio of the OICI.”
The release includes time-lines and 9-1-1 call summaries, as well as praise from Police Chief Mike Brown. “I am very proud of how our officers responded to this situation.
“Based on a preliminary review of the body-worn camera footage, our officers acted quickly to protect firefighters, neighbors and fellow officers. They used time and distance to their advantage, but they still found themselves in a situation that quickly intensified.”
By July 11, charged in the case was 44-year-old Peter Michael Larsen. The incident began after Salt Lake City Fire and EMS crews were called to the scene on a report of an active fire threatening the home on the lot and structures owned by neighbors.
“Fire personnel were in the process of attempting to bring the blaze under control when they were addressed by a male who exited the residence,” an SLCPD statement said.
“The male was later identified as Peter Michael Larsen. Peter told the emergency crews that he had been given permission to remove the weeds from his neighbor’s house and proceed to do so by lighting them on fire. He then proceeded to light his own backyard weeds on fire in efforts of removing his weeds as well.
“When the fire crews attempted to douse the blaze in Peter’s backyard, he told the fire crews if they stepped foot on his property, he would retrieve the shotgun he owned and would kill them.”
Fire officials notified the Salt Lake City Police Department, and SLCPD officers responded to the scene.
“Fire crews removed themselves from the scene and allowed law enforcement to attempt making contact with Peter. Upon their arrival, two officers made contact with Peter from the next door neighbor’s backyard. Peter was observed standing on the back porch of his home and had some communication with the officers.
“The officers observed Peter holding a short barreled shotgun and immediately began ordering Peter to drop the gun. Peter proceeded to point the weapon at the officers, upon which the officers opened fire on Peter, striking him in both left and right hands, resulting in him dropping the weapon.”
Larsen retreated into his residence and was taken into custody a short time later, then transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.