MAGNA — New body camera video released by the West Valley City police Wednesday shows the tense moments before an officer shot and killed a man who was allegedly holding a woman hostage at knifepoint inside a pickup truck back in April.
Lonnie Marcel Bowen, 41, of Salt Lake City, was killed in the officer-involved shooting. Prosecutors determined in October that Unified police officer Trever McLelland was justified in using deadly force and he was not charged.
Bowen was in a pickup truck with a woman that had come to a stop at 2750 S. 8400 West following a police chase that began in West Valley City in the early hours of April 17. Authorities said the woman was an ex-girlfriend of Bowen's and that he was holding a knife to her.
Bowen is heard on the video released Tuesday, but Unified Police Lt. Brian Lohrke said back on April 17 that a man called officers and told them, “tell your officers to back off, or I will shove this knife through her throat.”
The Salt Lake County District Attorney's report later determined Bowen made that call to police.
The video released Wednesday shows Unified and West Valley City police officers with their guns drawn while standing outside of their squad cars parked around the vehicle Bowen was in holding a woman hostage.
The officers commanded Bowen to exit the vehicle.
“He says he’ll kill her,” one of the officers said in the video. “He said he’s going to kill the passenger.”
After a couple of minutes, police move up closer to the vehicle.
“Let her go,” an officer yelled twice, while another officer tries to open the door of the pickup truck. The video appears to briefly show the man's arm wrapped around the woman’s neck moments before five shots are fired by McLelland off-screen.
The woman inside the vehicle screams and police get her out of the vehicle. The video also shows Bowen apparently holding a knife in his right hand while slumped in the passenger seat of the truck. Officers also mention the knife in the video.
The woman later told prosecutors that she ran into Bowen earlier in the night and that he appeared to be in a "mentally distressed state." She said she begged him "don't do this, just get out" before the shots were fired.
Bowen posted a live Facebook video just days before the shooting in which said he thought Salt Lake police were trying to kill him. Salt Lake police said they had three interactions with him in the month before the shooting, but none of them were negative.