1 dead in Clinton officer-involved shooting

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CLINTON -- A man was killed Friday morning in an officer-involved shooting in Clinton. Police have identified him as 34-year-old Paulo Berumen.

Clinton police say the incident began with a domestic dispute call. Officers arrived at a home near 1000 West and 1640 North around 9:30 a.m.

Clinton Police Chief Bill Chilson says two officers went into the backyard and found Berumen holding a large knife. He held the knife to his own throat for a time, but officers say he became threatening to them as time went on.

At first investigators say the two officers with Clinton police tried to subdue him with a Taser, but eventually opened fire.

Paulo Berumen
Paulo Berumen

"Two Taser deployments were both ineffective because of the clothing the individual had on," Chilson said. "It's unknown at this time if the individual tried to throw the knife at them or came at them with the knife, but both officers that were there immediately drew their weapons and fired, killing the suspect."

Officers immediately attempted CPR, but Berumen was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police say Berumen's wife actually ran across the street to call 911. She told police her husband was intoxicated at the time of the shooting.

"She was afraid of her husband at the time," said Chilson.

The couple apparently has some young children. Police say officers had been to the home before on a domestic violence call six months ago.

Chilson says this is a sad day for the Clinton Police Department. "I've been here 27 years and it's the first time we've ever had an officer-involved shooting," he said.

The officers involved, who have both served on the force for more than five years, have been placed on routine administrative leave pending an independent investigation. Davis County will handle the case and try to determine whether the officers were justified in opening fire.

I've been here 27 years and it's the first time we've ever had an officer-involved shooting.

–Bill Chilson

Nearby Clinton Elementary School was placed on lockdown to protect children from the crime scene. Friday is an early-out day for the students.

Investigators went door to door to collect statements from neighbors. A remote-control helicopter from the Utah Department of Public Safety was brought in to take aerial photos of the scene.

Berumen had a history of domestic violence. In February, he was arrested and charged with assault, child abuse, unlawful detention and damaging a communications device after a fight in which he grabbed his wife and threw their cordless phone, according to court records.

Representing himself in Clinton City Justice Court, he entered a plea in abeyance to misdemeanor counts of assault and child abuse and had other charges dismissed. A judge gave him a suspended jail sentence and ordered him into treatment, which court records show he completed last week.

In June 2008, Berumen's wife sought a protective order, claiming her husband had been abusive since they married in 2001. The couple had three boys living in their home, according to her petition.

In her request for the protective order, she described a recent incident in which Berumen got drunk and threatened to beat her with a belt. He said he would take away their children, knowing that she was "not completely legal" and could not challenge him in court, according to the petition.

Berumen threw her against a washing machine and said no one would ever find out if he killed her, the petition states.

On other occasions, he beat the children and kicked a hole in a door, according to the petition. The protective order was dismissed in July 2008 for lack of evidence.


Story compiled with contributions from Sam Penrod, Paul Koepp and Marc Giauque.


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