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SALT LAKE CITY — Dash cam video shows the chaotic scene of the drug raid and shooting that lead to the Jan.4 death of Ogden police officer Jared Francom, and the wounding of several other officers.
The video, obtained by the Standard-Examiner, begins as an approaching officer is warned to "be advised, shots are being fired out in the area," a dispatcher said. "All officers take cover."
Sirens are heard in the distance as the officer rushes to the scene of the crime. Silence, and then gunshots are heard.
There is confusion as the officers return to the car — one, referred to as "Jimmy," seems to need persuasion to return to the vehicle.
The dash cam then shows officers surrounding the house as two officers still in the vehicle attempt to confirm whether the down officer had been cleared.
From another police cruiser, an injured, officer Michael Rounkles is pulled into the back seat. With Resources already stretched, there was no time to wait for an ambulance. With one arm shot, Rounkles reaches over to hold himself in place as he's rushed to the hospital.
The footage shows the officers' first response to a drug raid during which five officers were wounded and one, Francom, was killed. Matthew David Stewart, 37, has been charged with capital murder in the crime.
KSL has put in an official records request for all audio and video from that night.
What the video shows is how quickly police had to respond to a dangerous situation without really knowing for sure what they'd find on the other end.
"We have tried to keep a lid on the information going out, just because we prefer to present that in court," said Dee Smith, Weber Co. Attorney. Smith said he first learned the city would release the video last Friday.
"It does show a chaotic scene that the officers are trying to get under control," Smith said.
In what has already been a very high-profile case, Smith said more attention like this can make things even more difficult. He did not play a role in the decision to release it.
"Whenever we get to jury trial, we're going to have to find jurors that haven't already made up their minds on the case," he said.
With so many officers affected and a suspect who could face the death penalty, emotions already run high.
Even though the state is trying to keep as much attention away from this case as possible, records like this do have be released unless the governing board can find a compelling reason why it shouldn't be a public record.