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Man shot by police had BB gun, investigators say

By Shara Park and Randall Jeppesen | Posted - Jan 8th, 2013 @ 8:03am


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MURRAY — Murray police shot and injured a man who they say threatened an officer early Tuesday morning with what looked like a handgun. It turned out to be a BB gun.

Emergency dispatch received a call from the distraught, suicidal man shortly before 1:30 a.m. When officers arrived at his home near 4500 South and Creek Lane(365 East), they found him in the driveway holding what appeared to be a gun. It turned out to be a BB gun. Police say it was dark and they could not tell what kind of gun it was, so they assumed it was a handgun.

For about two minutes they asked the man, who they now say is 37 years old, to put down the gun. According to officers he refused, and at one point turned the gun toward one of the officers. That officer shot two rounds at the man, hitting him in the shoulder and grazing his torso. He was taken to Intermountain Medical Center where he is in stable condition and expected to recover.

Several other people were inside the home at the time. It's unclear whether they saw the shooting, but police are interviewing them to learn why the man was so distraught.

The officer involved has been with the Murray Police Department for six to seven years. This is the first officer-involved shooting he's been directly involved with.

The county attorney will review the case to see if the officer was justified in shooting the man.

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