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Homeowner shot man after intruder kept advancing, police say

Homeowner shot man after intruder kept advancing, police say

(Mike Radice, KSL TV, File)

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RIVERTON — A Riverton homeowner tried several times to get an intruder to stay away before resorting to shooting him, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in 3rd District Court.

Derek Palmer, 36, was at a friend's house in Riverton the night of June 20 "because Palmer was having problems with his fiancée," the warrant states. But while he was there, "Palmer became intoxicated to the point where (the friend) told him he needed to leave because he was being aggressive."

An Uber was called, but the driver refused to take Palmer because he was being "loud and belligerent," according to the affidavit.

The friend went inside his house again. But when he came out, Palmer was standing in the middle of the street with no pants on, police say.

About that same time, a girl and her brother were returning home near 11600 South and 1800 West, when they saw Palmer.

"She stated that he came right up to her door and was saying something that she could not understand," the warrant states.

The children drove around the block again, and then into their opened garage. But Palmer followed, police say, and was soon in a verbal argument with the mother.

The father heard what was happening, grabbed his gun, and went to the garage.

"He states that he got in front of the male, later identified as Derek Palmer, and pushed him away. Palmer kept coming back at him, he kept pushing him away. When the male would not leave, (the father) took him to the ground and put him in a headlock," the warrant states.

When Palmer got back up, he again challenged the father, questioning whether the gun was even loaded.

"(The homeowner) stated that he chambered a round into the gun at this point to show that it was loaded. Palmer then pulled out a knife and asked him if he would shoot him if he stabbed (the man) with the knife. (The homeowner) replied that he would," according to the warrant.


Palmer then threw it in the direction of the father and continued to walk toward him. The homeowner "was able to knock him down a couple more times, (but) Palmer kept getting up and advancing toward him," the warrant states.

When Darris Ellis "backed up as far as he could and Palmer refused to stay down on the ground, he shot him," according to the affidavit.

Palmer was shot twice. When Unified police officers arrived, they say Palmer attempted to grab the gun that was now lying on a container in the garage. An officer saw what he was doing and moved the weapon, but Palmer wouldn't stop, court records state.

"Multiple commands were given to Palmer to stop what he was doing and get on the ground. Palmer did not respond to the commands. (An officer) deployed his Taser, hitting Palmer," the warrant states. The officer deployed a Taser on Palmer a second time when he again got up and allegedly tried to get the gun. He appeared to be readying to make a third attempt, police say, until an officer warned him that another Taser would be deployed.

Palmer was taken to a local hospital and released after a few days. As of Thursday, no charges have been filed against him. Police say he has undergone several surgeries and may require more.

No charges are expected to be filed against Ellis.

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