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Scott G Winterton, KSL

Police: Man found dead after brief foot pursuit near Pioneer Park

By Carter Williams, | Updated - Sep. 5, 2018 at 9:44 p.m. | Posted - Sep. 5, 2018 at 4:50 p.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — A man died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound following a brief foot pursuit with officers Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Officers responded to a report of trespassing near 300 South and 400 West shortly after 4:20 p.m., Salt Lake Police Sgt. Brandon Shearer said. He said officers discovered Michael Zahn, 35, had a felony warrant out for his arrest because of a parole violation as they were clearing the scene.

Zahn then fled on foot as officers attempted to apprehend him, Shearer said. At some point, an officer fired a shot before Zahn broke into a nearby building, according to Shearer. Police then located Zahn's body in the building with the gunshot wound.

Court records show Zahn has a lengthy criminal history in Utah, and Shearer said Zahn was "known to officers in the area."


The Salt Lake City Police Department invoked officer-involved critical incident protocol because of the shot fired by an officer out of "abundance of caution," Shearer said. He said it was unclear if Zahn was struck by a bullet or if he had fired back.

The West Valley Police Department will take over the investigation. The officer who fired the shot was also placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation, Shearer said.

He added if there is any officer body camera footage, it will be released within 10 days.

People inside nearby businesses were evacuated during the brief foot pursuit, Shearer said. No other injuries were reported.

Multiple streets, including 300 300 South to 400 South and 400 West to Rio Grande Street, were closed for several hours while police investigated the crime scene. However, they reopened Wednesday night.

Contributing: Sean Moody, KSL TV

Suicide prevention resources
If you or someone you know is struggling with thoughts of suicide, KSL encourages you to call the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK.

Crisis Hotlines

  • Utah County Crisis Line: 801-226-4433
  • Salt Lake County/UNI Crisis Line: 801-587-3000
  • Wasatch Mental Health Crisis Line: 801-373-7393
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK
  • Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ teens: 1-866-488-7386

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