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RIVERTON — A man who police say was intoxicated, armed with a knife, and at one point without pants, was shot by a homeowner late Monday.
Just before 11 p.m., police were called to 11638 S. Winford Drive on a report of a shooting, said Unified Police Lt. Brian Lohrke.
Derrick Palmer, 36, was at a friend's house and became intoxicated, Lohrke said. Palmer went outside the house, and for an unknown reason began undressing and dressing in the middle of the street.
Two teenage boys who were just getting home saw what was happening and kept driving. They called their parents as the made another lap around the block, Lohrke said. The boys' parents — who could see Palmer outside their window — developed a plan to open the garage and have the boys drive directly in, Lohrke said.
But after the boys got into the house, Palmer, now clothed, began walking toward their house, Lohrke said. The father went out to confront him in the driveway.
The homeowner — who was holding a gun in one hand — attempted to pin Palmer to the ground in the front yard and a fight ensued, Lohrke said. The homeowner was successful in pinning Palmer, but he kept fighting.
The homeowner got up and tried to go back into his house. Palmer followed him into the garage, Lohrke said. According to what witnesses told police, Lohrke said the conversation at that point went something like:
"That gun is not even loaded," Palmer said.
"It's loaded," the homeowner replied.
Palmer then pulled a knife out of his pocket and asked the homeowner, "Are you going to shoot me now?" according to Lohrke.
At that point, witnesses have given conflicting stories about whether Palmer threw his knife at the homeowner or dropped it. But it prompted the homeowner to fire twice, hitting Palmer in the jaw and chest, the lieutenant said.
The wife called 911 while this was happening. When officers arrived, they found Palmer on the ground and the homeowner still watching over him with his gun, Lohrke said.
The officers, who were still trying to figure out what was going on, ordered the homeowner to drop the gun. The homeowner was compliant with the officers' orders and got on the ground after putting his gun aside.
The homeowner was initially placed in handcuffs as officers began an investigation. That's when Palmer tried to move.
"Palmer gets up at that point as they're handcuffing the homeowner, sees the gun and attempts to go for it," Lohrke said.
The officers were able to get to the gun first, prompting Palmer to try and make a run for the house, he said. Officers then deployed a Taser on Palmer and he was taken into custody. Palmer was taken to a local hospital in critical condition and was later upgraded to serious condition.
The homeowner, whose name has not yet been released, was not arrested, Lohrke said.