MURRAY — A man killed in a shootout with Murray police had an "extensive domestic violence history," police said Wednesday.
About 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, two Murray police officers responded to a report of domestic violence between a mother and her adult son at the Villas at Vine Apartments, 811 E. Vine Street. The mother told emergency dispatchers that "she believed her son was going to kill her," according to Murray police.
When the officers arrived, they confronted Willie T. Salazar, 33, who was outside the apartment. According to the police statement, "a confrontation ensued, and shots were exchanged."
Salazar was pronounced dead at the scene. One Murray police officer was taken to a local hospital to be treated for a gunshot wound to his leg. He has since been released. Two officers have been placed on standard paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation of the officer-involved critical incident team headed by Salt Lake police.
Murray police have not said what prompted officers to shoot Salazar or other details about the shootout, including how many shots were fired, who shot first or if both officers fired their weapons.
According to court records, Salazar had a long history of domestic violence against his mother.
Most recently, he was charged May 19 in 3rd District Court with assaulting his mother. In that case, Salazar was at his mother's apartment on Vine Street and threw her to the floor, "squeezed her head," and kicked a hole in a door, charging documents state. A warrant in that case was issued May 19 and was still active at the time of Tuesday's shooting.
Salazar's history of domestic violence against his mother dates back at least to his arrest on March 5, 2017. Since then, he has been charged several times with violating a protective order against her. He was convicted three times of domestic violence crimes against his mother in 2017 alone, according to court records.
Salazar was arrested again on March 17, 2020, for investigation of domestic violence against his mother. Then on April 7, 2020, he again went to her home and "threatened to beat her up," charging documents state.
On May 20, 2020, a protective order was issued preventing Salazar from contacting his mother in any way and ordering him to "stay away from her vehicle, job and home," according to court documents.
But on July 24, 2020, the mother turned off a movie Salazar was watching, prompting him to threaten her with a knife, the charges state. He pleaded guilty in that case to making a threat of violence and he was placed on probation. A warrant was issued for Salazar's arrest on March 22 for violating his probation.
Then on Sept. 15, charges say Salazar was at his mother's apartment and "grabbed her by the neck and threw her to the ground outside." He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and was also placed on probation. A warrant was issued for Salazar's arrest on March 22 for violating his probation.
Domestic violence resources
Help for people in abusive relationships can be found by contacting:
- Utah Domestic Violence Coalition: Utah's confidential statewide, 24-hour domestic violence hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465)
- YWCA Women in Jeopardy program: 801-537-8600
- Utah's statewide child abuse and neglect hotline: 1-855-323-DCFS (3237)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233