RIVERTON — Police have identified a man who was shot and killed after officers found him holding a knife to his mother's neck outside a home in Riverton Monday morning, officials said.
Jason Whittle, 26, was shot and killed by Unified police after officers responded to reports of domestic violence at 11779 S. Stone Ridge Lane just after 6:40 a.m., according to Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera.
Police saw the man holding the knife to his 56-year-old mother's throat, then "took some action and shots were fired," Rivera said. The woman is now safe, and there is no remaining danger to the public, she added.
But the man's father, Robert Whittle, said his son was never a danger to anybody.
"He had a butterknife, for heaven's sake," he said. "He didn't have anything that could harm her. He'd never harm her."
Whittle said his son battled substance abuse and had "been on the streets" for the last month and a half to two months.
Jason Whittle's mother was granted a protective order against him in July, according to court records.
He was convicted of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance in May after he was pulled over by police in the Daybreak area and they discovered methamphetamine and marijuana in his vehicle, according to court records.
Jason Whittle was again charged with possession of a controlled substance in August after a University of Utah Hospital employee found crystal meth in Whittle's clothing while he was a patient there, court documents stated.
- Utah Domestic Violence Coalition operates a confidential statewide, 24-hour domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465). Resources are also available online: udvc.org.
Help for people in abusive relationships can be found by contacting:
Robert Whittle said his son went home seeking help so his mother called authorities to "take him to jail so he can get some rehab."
"They didn't have to shoot him," Whittle said. "A stupid stun gun would have worked fine. They could have done anything else, but not shoot him."
This is the sixth officer-involved shooting along the Wasatch Front since Oct. 10, and the third involving a Unified police officer in three days.
"It has been a tough couple of weeks. Anytime these type of situations happen we want to make sure we’re taking a good look at everything,” Rivera said.
On Oct. 10, a Tooele police officer looking for a man wanted in a domestic violence-related assault shot at Christopher Michael Ono, 27, after Ono allegedly pointed a gun at the officer. No one was injured and Ono was arrested and later charged.
On Oct. 11, Diamonte Riviore, 22, was shot and killed by a West Jordan police officer responding to a domestic violence call. Riviore, who had a history of threatening his ex-girlfriend, was holding a knife when officers arrived, according to police.
On Oct. 12, Jacob E. Albrethsen, 17, was shot and killed by Orem police officers responding to a "family problem" involving Albrethsen and a woman. While the officers were inside the home, Albrethsen came at them "armed with a knife," according to police.
On Oct. 17, a Unified officer shot James Lyle Kuehn, 61, of Kearns, who allegedly had just robbed a Mexican restaurant at knifepoint. Kuehn remained in critical condition as of Thursday.
On Oct. 18, Salt Lake City man Andrey Tkachenko, 23, who was wanted by the Metro Gang Unit and U.S. marshals, was shot and killed during a confrontation downtown with police.
Contributing: Peter Samore, KSL Newsradio and Yvette Cruz, KSL.com