FARMINGTON — The Davis County Sheriff’s Office has released body camera footage of a February arrest in West Point where gunshots were fired by one Davis deputy.
On Wednesday afternoon, members of the Sheriff’s Office hosted a press conference in Farmington to release the body camera footage.
The footage illustrated the events leading up to one Davis County Sheriff’s deputy firing his service weapon at Zachary Tony Mendelkow, 35, who reportedly pointed a gun at the officer after police were notified of a suspicious person in the area.
Though Mendelkow reportedly brandished a weapon and the deputy fired his weapon, no injuries occurred during the incident.
Davis County authorities also filed charges Wednesday against Mendelkow in connection with the incident, as well as a reported kidnapping that took place earlier in the day prior to the shooting.
DCSO law enforcement Chief Deputy Andrew Oblad gave an overview of the incident involving one deputy who shot his weapon and another deputy that was first at the scene but did not fire his weapon. Neither deputy was named during the press conference, as the case was still under investigation as of Wednesday.
Oblad said the two deputies responded to a home near 4600 W. 800 North in West Point after a call was made reporting a suspicious man in the area. As police arrived, they learned the man in question was Mendelkow and that he was a wanted fugitive with an active felony warrant, according to Oblad.
The first body camera footage played was several minutes long and detailed the incident. Shots are fired from afar, and the deputy runs toward Mendelkow and the deputy who fired. Several minutes of video show Mendelkow going back and forth with the deputies, frequently using coarse language.
In the second video, a deputy walks north and makes contact with Mendelkow, who was behind a cattle gate next to a home. According to body camera footage played during the press conference, Mendelkow walks toward the deputy, then takes a step back before brandishing what looks to be a handgun.
This causes the deputy to move away from Mendelkow before drawing and firing his gun several times.
The video shows Mendelkow falling to the ground, which led the two deputies into believing the man was shot, according to Oblad. However, the two approach Mendelkow to place him in custody and ask him if he’s shot. Mendelkow repeatedly says he does not know, and the deputies later discover he was not hit.
The body camera footage from the deputy who fired his gun cuts off shortly after he tries to place Mendelkow in custody, as his camera is knocked off his vest and rolls on the ground.
Mendelkow was taken to a local hospital to be treated for an unrelated medical issue before he was booked into the Davis County Jail. Oblad said Wednesday that Mendelkow is now in the custody of the Utah State Prison, as he was violating his parole at the time of his arrest.
Warning: The video below contains violence and graphic language. Viewer discretion is advised.
Oblad added that Mendelkow would be charged Wednesday in connection with the shooting.
Charging documents show that Mendelkow is facing numerous first-degree felonies, including attempted aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary — among other felonies.
Police allege that while Mendelkow was on the ground, deputies were on top of him trying to restrain him, officers told Mendelkow he was lucky he was not dead, to which he replied “You’re lucky you’re not!” according to charging documents. Mendelkow later allegedly told another man in a police transport vehicle that he “tried to shoot a cop.”
Charging documents say earlier that day Mendelkow allegedly entered a home in West Point and pointed a handgun at a man’s face while waking him up sometime between midnight and 3:30 a.m. on Feb. 25. Mendelkow allegedly took the man’s phone and forced the man to a car before driving him to different locations in Clinton and Roy. Mendelkow allegedly left the man’s car and took his phone after the man dropped off Mendelkow at a Roy home, according to charging documents.
The man then drove home and called the police.
Davis County Sheriff Kelly Sparks thanked local law enforcement for their efforts in the incident, which was still under investigation as of Wednesday. Police did not take questions from reporters following the press conference, saying the matter was still under review and releasing further information could complicate the investigation.
“I want to express my appreciation to our deputies for the remarkably calm, measured and professional manner in which they handled this volatile incident,” Sparks said.
He added that the Davis County Sheriff’s Office will continue to hold press conferences and release body camera footage following officer-involved shootings in the effort of transparency to the community.
Mendelkow has yet to be assigned an initial appearance date in Farmington’s 2nd District Court.