The Salt Lake City Police Department have released body camera footage of two officers that killed a man who appeared to hold a victim at knifepoint in Salt Lake City.
The video shows two officers responding to an altercation between two people at the Smith’s grocery store on July 25.
The two officers shot at Andrew Jacob Preece after a worker at the Smith’s Food and Drug at 455 S. 500 East called 911 at 9:20 a.m. to report that two men had stolen some items and were now fighting in the parking lot.
In the 911 call, the store employee told authorities that the men appeared to be intoxicated.
‘I think they’re drunk or something. They keep fighting each other in the parking lot,’ the employee says ‘They can’t even walk straight.’
According to Deseret News, an argument ensued between them while inside and the disagreement continued after they exited into the nearby parking lot.
The body camera footage begins with one officer arriving at the scene and then confronting Preece and another man as they walked on the sidewalk near the grocery store.
Preece appears to have a knife in one hand while placing the other around the man’s shoulder, who was walking in front of him down the walkway.
“Drop the knife!” the officer yelled.
The officer then threatened to tase Preece and again yelled for him to stop. But Preece refused and instead pulled the man closer to him and put the knife to his throat.
“He’s got a hostage!” the officer said over the radio.
A second officer arrived at the scene and yelled again for Preece to put the knife down. “It’s not worth it!” she yelled, her gun pointed at Preece.
She then fired a shot at Preece, but he continued holding the other man with the knife to his throat. Both officers then fired at Preece multiple times until he fell to the ground.
Police rendered first aid, but Preece was declared dead by medical personnel 10 minutes after the shooting.
The two officers fired nine or 10 shots total, according to the footage.
Police officials have placed the two officers on administrative leave until an internal review and a use-of-force review from the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office is complete.
In a statement to Fox 13 Now, the Preece family condemned the shooting and called the shooting ‘unnecessary.’
‘We feel that the actions taken in this altercation was unnecessary. Andrew was not in his right state of mind but he never wanted to hurt anyone. He had a history with law enforcement but that doesn’t make him in any way less of a person,’ they wrote.
‘This could have been prevented by taking a few extra minutes or hour to talk him down if that’s what it would take. In our opinion it did not look like a hostage situation, rather Andrew leaning on his friend for support because it appeared that he was in some way hurt.
‘They should have taken more time to talk instead of shoot and that’s gotta change.’