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Man accused of killing girlfriend, shooting officer to be booked for murder

Man accused of killing girlfriend, shooting officer to be booked for murder

(Steve Griffin, KSL, File)

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SALT LAKE CITY — A 30-year-old Layton man who police say was involved in a shootout with officers will be booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of murder once he is released from the hospital.

Police say Michael Tyson Nance is the person responsible for the death of Natalie Thurber, 34, of Salt Lake City. In addition to murder, police said Tuesday he would be arrested for investigation of three counts of attempted aggravated murder for shooting at Salt Lake police officers, as well as reckless endangerment and three counts of illegal discharge of a firearm.

Although he was still in the hospital Tuesday afternoon, police filed an affidavit in anticipation of Nance being transferred to the Salt Lake County Jail.

On Monday, about 3:30 a.m., Salt Lake officers were called to an apartment complex at 125 S. 300 East on a report if a domestic violence problem. Police believe Thurber called 911. According to the affidavit, “on the open line dispatch could hear talking about someone getting hurt and getting killed.”

The first arriving officers “could hear screaming and yelling coming from the apartment complex. Officers announced their presence by calling out ‘police’ to make contact with the persons in the apartment. Officers heard two separate gunshots come from the interior of the apartment complex, one of which struck one SLCPD officer in the lower leg. Two SLCPD officers engaged the suspect and returned fire from the exterior of the apartment into the interior of the building,” the affidavit states.

Police say Nance and police exchanged gunfire through a front window.

When officers entered the apartment, they found Thurber dead with a gunshot wound to the head, the affidavit states.


Nance was not in the apartment, but officers found a “fresh blood trail” leading out the back door, according to the affidavit.

Nance was spotted bleeding near 200 South and 500 East by a local security guard, according to police. Witnesses reported that Nance was “bleeding heavily from the face,” the affidavit states. When police arrived, Nance was receiving treatment from paramedics at a Salt Lake City Fire station located at that address.

Doctors said it appeared Nance’s injury was self-inflicted, according to the affidavit.

Police say Thurber and Nance lived together.

“It was learned an argument ensued prior to the 911 call being placed which resulted in (Thurber) being shot and killed. Nance then directed fire at the officers outside upon their arrival, then turned the weapon on himself in efforts of committing suicide, which failed,” the affidavit states.

According to the affidavit, Nance had plans to move to Ohio on the day of the shooting.

Investigators also found a bullet hole in the ceiling of the apartment, though no one in the apartment above was injured.

Police investigate an officer-involved shooting after responding to a downtown disturbance in Salt Lake City, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. (Photo: Steve Griffin, KSL)
Police investigate an officer-involved shooting after responding to a downtown disturbance in Salt Lake City, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. (Photo: Steve Griffin, KSL)

The officer who was shot has been released from the hospital but will have a long recovery period, according to Unified police.

The Unified Police Department will conduct the investigations into both the homicide and the officer-involved shooting.

On social media, many friends expressed the grief and shock over Thurber’s death. Some changed their profile picture on Facebook to a purple ribbon in her honor. Many remembered her as an avid motorcycle rider who participated in many charity rides around the state.

“My heart is breaking in more ways than one. I’m struggling to find the answers and desperate to know what happened to you. One of my besties, my friend, my love, my heart. You’ll be missed more than you know,” one woman posted on Facebook.

“You were an amazing person. Your smile was contagious and I loved hanging out with you. I will remember the talks we had and all the memories. I know you will be riding with the angels now. You are loved and will be forever missed,” another man wrote.

A candlelight vigil was scheduled for Thursday.


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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021 after many years of reporting for the Deseret News


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