A man was shot by officers of the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake in the town of Holladay, Utah, on Thursday, after he allegedly pointed a gun at officers during an altercation that occurred after he was involved in a traffic accident.
What are the details?
At around 3:00 p.m., an officer was filling up the gas tank of their patrol vehicle when a crash occurred on the street next to the service station between a motorcycle and another vehicle.
Sheriff Rosie Rivera told KUTV-TV that the man driving the motorcycle fled, and the officer pursued him on foot. During a physical altercation that witnesses described as “aggressive,” the man allegedly “picked up a gun from the ground” and aimed it at the officer. The man was then shot by the officer.
Footage of the moments before the shooting began circulated online shortly after the incident. A KUTV reporter later shared the footage, confirming that the video was captured by a witness.
The clip shows a man being chased, engaging in a scuffle, and picking something up from the ground before raising his arms in what appears to be a shooter’s stance toward the other person.
The UPD identified the man as Eric Pectol, 49. He was transported to a hospital and believed to be in serious or critical condition. Officers were not seriously injured in the incident.
Now, separate investigations are ongoing over both the crash and the shooting. There were several witnesses to each incident..
Sheriff Rivera also confirmed to the outlet that the crash is “very near” where UPD Officer Doug Barney was fatally shot in 2016 by a fugitive parolee who was fleeing the scene of a traffic accident.
In another report from KUTV on Thursday, a confidential source disclosed that officers from the Salt Lake City Police Department — which does not cover UPD’s county jurisdiction — is facing an exodus of dozens of officers complaining that vandalism from protests following the death of George Floyd have gone unchecked.
During a May 30 protest, the city’s police station was vandalized, with nearly every window “within reach broken or covered in graffiti.”
“I used to be the biggest proponent for it, come to Salt Lake City, it’s the best department,” one officer said under condition of anonymity. “I’m [now] telling people to stay away from this profession altogether.”
Another officer added, “You could be involved with something that’s justified and you could still lose your job. If I’m going to be reprimanded for doing the right thing in a job that’s already dangerous — how can I go home and tell my family I’m taking care of them?”