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Family says police used excessive force in weekend shooting

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SALT LAKE CITY -- The family of a man shot to death by police after pointing a gun at strangers Saturday is speaking out.

It was a horrible situation for everyone involved: the family of 20-year-old Favian Martinez, and no doubt for the officers who pulled the trigger. But Martinez's family wants people to know no matter how he died, he was very loved.

Favian Martinez's aunt, grandmother and cousins showed KSL News his picture Tuesday afternoon
Favian Martinez's aunt, grandmother and cousins showed KSL News his picture Tuesday afternoon

Outside a Glendale flower store, where family members spent Tuesday afternoon picking out arrangements for the funeral, Martinez's aunt, grandmother and cousins showed KSL News his picture. They say he was a loving father of three little girls, with another baby on the way, who loved Motown and rap music.

According to police, around 2:00 Saturday morning, Martinez was on South Temple in downtown and was pointing a gun at strangers. When officers approached him, he ran.

They caught up to him outside the Covey Apartments and say they opened fire when he refused to follow their orders and began making suspicious movements.

A viewing is scheduled for Thursday; the funeral for Friday.

"It's really hard right now, coping with, thinking how many times he was shot," says Christine Maama, Martinez's aunt. "The hardest part will be Thursday and Friday; to go and see him is the hardest part because after Thursday and Friday you'll never see him again."

The family feels police used excessive force. They wonder why the officers didn't use a Taser and why they shot him so many times. They don't believe Martinez was holding the gun when he was killed.

Police aren't commenting until the district attorney's investigation is completed, which is pretty routine in a situation like this.


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Sarah Dallof


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