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Man points gun at officer to allegedly 'prove a point' about gun regulation, is nearly shot, police say

A Tooele man was arrested over the weekend for allegedly pointing a realistic-looking gun at a police officer, allegedly to prove a point about gun regulations.

A Tooele man was arrested over the weekend for allegedly pointing a realistic-looking gun at a police officer, allegedly to prove a point about gun regulations. (Steve Griffin, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

TOOELE — A Tooele man was arrested Saturday after pointing a realistic-looking gun at a police officer, allegedly to make a point about gun regulations, according to police.

Saturday, about 9 p.m., a Tooele police officer was sitting in his parked patrol car near 55 N. 200 West when Spenser Terrell Thomas, 33, who was riding an electric scooter, approached his vehicle, according to a police booking affidavit.

"I was watching Mr. Thomas from my passenger rear view mirror and observed he was slowing down while approaching my front passenger side window. I rolled down my window as it appeared Mr. Thomas wanted to speak to me," the officer wrote in the affidavit.

But rather than talk to the officer, Thomas pulled out what appeared to be a handgun and pointed it through the passenger window at the officer's leg, according to the affidavit. The officer reacted by getting out of his car and drawing his own gun on Thomas.

"I ordered Mr. Thomas to 'drop the gun' multiple times," the officer wrote. "Mr. Thomas dropped the gun inside the front passenger compartment of my vehicle and then stepped away. Mr. Thomas told me that he wanted to turn the gun into me."

The officer had Thomas lay on his stomach and put his hands out to each side before being handcuffed.

"While Mr. Thomas was laying on the ground he advised me that he was trying to get gun regulations changed and that he did what he did tonight to prove a point that he shouldn't be able to have a gun. I advised him that because of what he had done, that he had nearly been shot," the officer wrote in the affidavit. "Because of what Mr. Thomas had done, I nearly shot him due to the realistic appearance of the gun and because he had pointed at my leg when he put his arm inside my car. He further stated that he had done what he did tonight to prove a point."

The weapon turned out to be a pepper ball handgun, though the officer believed it was real, the affidavit states. Thomas was booked into the Tooele County Jail for investigation of assault on a police officer.

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

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