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New details emerge in Kearns officer-involved shooting

By Ashley Imlay, KSL | Updated - Oct 18th, 2018 @ 9:30pm | Posted - Oct 18th, 2018 @ 5:14pm


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KEARNS — Before he was shot by police Wednesday, a man who attempted to rob a restaurant at knifepoint was chased out of the store by an employee with a bigger knife, according to court documents.

On Thursday, James Lyle Kuehn, 61, of Kearns, remained hospitalized in critical condition, said Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray. Details about his gunshot injuries were not released.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed Thursday, a store worker told police that a man later identified as Kuehn came into Fiesta Olè, 4098 W. 5415 South, and went into the kitchen, stopping near the register. The worker said "the male was holding a small blade in his hand which he described 'looked like a prison shank,'" the affidavit says.

Kuehn told the worker to "give me the money or I'll stab your (expletive)," according to the affidavit.

The worker said he was able to retreat into the back area of the kitchen as Kuehn followed him, the affidavit says. The worker told police he then picked up a 2-foot long "cheese knife," which he swung at Kuehn, police said.

"Once (the worker) reached the dining area, several patrons, who were seated there, intervened and stepped between (the worker) and the suspect. Upon doing so, the suspect left the business through one of the side doors and proceeded to walk down 5415 South, westbound," police said.

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A witness followed Kuehn to a home at 4450 W. 5700 South and told arriving officers about the incident, police said.

"Several officers encountered the male in front of the residence and proceeded to attempt an arrest. Upon doing so, the suspect refused to comply and continued to hold a small knife at his side," police said.

"The officers engaged the male with a less lethal Taser device which did not have the desired effect. After the Taser device failed, and the suspect continued to not comply, officers engaged the male with a firearm," according to the affidavit.

On Thursday, police confirmed a knife was recovered at the scene of the shooting.

Gray said Kuehn will be booked into jail after he is released from the hospital, but he is expected to remain in the hospital for some time.

The Salt Lake City Police Department and Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office will investigate the shooting.

Salt Lake officers have canvassed the neighborhood where the shooting occurred, police said. Officials ask any witnesses to the incident to call Salt Lake police at 801-799-3000.

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Updated: Tuesday November 13, 2018 12:44 pm