An investigation by the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office has found that an officer involved shooting occurring in October last year was not justified. But the D.A. has decided he will not press charges against the Unified Police Department detective involved.
On October 5th 2016, two UPD officers attempted to arrest then 20-year-old Damian Huth during a traffic stop in Kearns, Utah. Huth had a warrant for his arrest for an alleged probation violation after he was convicted of aggravated assault.
The stop quickly turned into a foot pursuit and a scuffle. Huth tried to escape over a fence and Detective Cordell Whitmore tried to stop him. In a statement to the D.A., Whitmore said he “heard a 'pop'" and didn’t know what it was, but then he looked up and saw his weapon pointing upward and realized it was his gun.
Detective Whitmore shot Huth in the shoulder. Huth was taken to the hospital where he survived the injury.
In a letter on Monday, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said they could not conclude that the detective’s use of deadly force was justified under Utah State law. They also decided not to file criminal charges against the detective.
UPD is conducting their own investigation. It’s unclear what consequences could come from what has been determined to be an accidental shooting.