cottonwood heights police

Teen Shot by Cottonwood Heights Police After Reaching Into Waistband

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A 17-year-old who bailed on a traffic stop was shot by a Cottonwood Heights Police after reaching for his waistband.

On September 3 a Cottonwood Heights, Utah police officer initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle with 2 occupants. The vehicle sped off and the 14-year veteran police Sgt. sped off after them. The pursuit ended quickly with the driver wrecking the vehicle on I-15.

The two teenage occupants jump out of the wrecked car and run down an off ramp. The Sgt. spots the male half of the pursuit and exits his patrol car. He can be heard telling dispatch “I’ll have him at gunpoint!”

As soon as the officer exits his vehicle, he screams “Drop it now. Get on the ground. Get on the ground now or I’ll shoot you!”

The 17 year old sits on the ground at first and the officer orders him to roll over and keep his hands up. The officer initially has his taser in his left hand and service pistol in his right hand.

As soon as the officer starts to holster his pistol, the suspect moves his hands towards his waistband. The officer yells “”Don’t. Don’t. Don’t” and fires one shot, hitting him in the abdomen.

Backup arrives and officer immediately begin rendering first aid. The suspect was later treated at the hospital and survived the incident.

Cottonwood Heights Police Lt. Dan Bartlett later stated that investigators at the scene found a small .22-caliber handgun in the suspects’s pants.

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