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Salt Lake man who killed girlfriend, shot officer, says he ‘lost it,’ charges say

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Posted - Feb. 20, 2020 at 2:05 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of killing his girlfriend and shooting a Salt Lake police officer before injuring himself with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, now faces several felony charges.

Michael Tyson Nance, 30, of Salt Lake City, was charged Thursday in 3rd District Court with aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and aggravated kidnaping, all first-degree felonies, in addition to aggravated assault, a third-degree felony.

About 3:30 a.m. on Feb. 10, police were called to an apartment complex at 125 S. 300 East on a report of a domestic violence problem. Natalie Thurber, 34, of Salt Lake City, had called 911 and left the line open, according to charging documents.

Dispatchers said they could hear Thurber and Nance, her live-in boyfriend, arguing.

“Natalie can be heard stating that (Nance) would not leave her, and that he strangled her and tried to kill her,” according to charging documents.

She could be heard saying she couldn’t leave the apartment because Nance was standing in front of the door with a knife, the charges state.

“Natalie begged (Nance) to let her leave, but (he) refused and stated, ‘I’m going to do something before the end of ...’” the charges state, not finishing the sentence.

Police later discovered a second 911 call had been made by one of Thurber’s friends whom she had texted. In her message, Thurber told her friend, “Help now, now! He’s trying to kill me,” according to the charges.

When Salt Lake police officers arrived in the area, they could hear screaming coming from the apartment. An officer approached the window and heard “gurgling sounds and a male yelling.”

The officer kicked in the window and could see Nance strangling Thurber, according to the charges.


Natalie begged (Nance) to let her leave, but (he) refused and stated, 'I'm going to do something before the end of ...'

–Charging documents


In body camera video, an officer ordered Nance, “Drop it or I will shoot you right now,” the charges state. “(Nance) is heard stating, ‘Hold on, hold on’ and is observed walking away from the bathroom.”

As the officer turned to speak into his police radio, “(Nance’s) hand comes into view holding a handgun from around the bathroom door frame,” the charges state. “The handgun is turned towards Natalie’s head and (Nance) fires the gun.”

Multiple shots were then fired by Nance toward officer Chad Miller, who was struck in the leg, according to the charges. Police returned fire and said they heard Nance screaming. Nance ran out a back door and police entered the apartment where they found Thurber deceased.

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Nance was spotted a short time later bleeding heavily from his face near 200 South and 500 East. It was determined that Nance shot himself, with the bullet entering through his chin and exiting through the bridge of his nose, according to police.

Later, when interviewed at the hospital, Nance told detectives he “lost it” and strangled Thurber, the charges say.

Both the officer-involved shooting and the homicide were investigated by Unified police. Miller has since been released from the hospital but will have a long road to recovery, according to police.

Nance was recently transferred from the hospital to the Salt Lake County Jail. Prosecutors have requested Nance be held without bail.

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