Ogden PD kill man in confrontation, the third officer-involved shooting of 2023
Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner
OGDEN — Ogden police shot and killed an armed man during a confrontation early Sunday morning after he reportedly pointed his gun at the officers and refused their commands to drop the weapon.
It becomes the fifth fatal officer-involved shooting in Weber County this year and the third such incident in Ogden.
“The man pointed the handgun at officers repeatedly and ignored numerous commands to drop the firearm,” Ogden Chief Eric Young said at a press conference Sunday afternoon. The seven officers called to the incident “fired their weapons, struck the suspect and he died immediately.”
Young didn’t say how many rounds were fired, as the investigation moves forward, and he’s “not aware” of any shots fired by the man. No one else aside from the man — in his 20s, though Young didn’t name him — sustained injuries.
But he said Ogden officers have responded to calls previously involving the man at the same home in the 200 block of North Eccles Avenue, when he threatened to use a gun on officers or himself. He had “violent felony convictions” on his record, Young said, including at least two that involved firearms.
Tim Vandenack, Standard-Examiner
The call to police about the man came in around 1:20 a.m. Sunday and the female caller told dispatchers the man was intoxicated, armed and “acting erratically,” Young said. The caller said the man told her that if she called police he’d “handle it himself or take himself out.”
Friends and family were gathered Sunday afternoon at the home where the incident occurred in a residential neighborhood of northern Ogden. Sara Brinkley, one of them, emphasized that the man wasn’t a bad seed but that he suffered from mental health issues.
“He wasn’t just a criminal. He wasn’t a violent villain,” she said. “I want everyone to know it was because of mental health. He wasn’t a bad person. He was amazing.”
She was there when the confrontation with police occurred but only heard the activity, didn’t witness it. Authorities shouted commands for the man to put his hands up and to put the gun down. She estimates 15 to 20 shots were subsequently fired.
Brinkley is an in-law, not a blood relative, and said she’d leave it to other family to publicly identify the man when they’re comfortable doing so. Young said authorities would likely release such information later in the week.
Madison Felix, a close friend, was also at the home where the confrontation occurred and, like Brinkley, said the man had always struggled with mental health issues. “He’s never gotten the help. He was the sweetest person you could have ever met,” she said.
As is standard procedure, the seven Ogden officers involved in the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave as the Weber County Prosecutor’s Office investigates the incident. Two of the seven officers were involved in prior officer-involved shootings, according to Young.
Sunday’s incident is the third deadly officer-involved shooting in Ogden so far this year. Shootouts between Ogden police and Brian Simonton on June 6 and Alex Lopez on June 13 left those two men dead.
Elsewhere in Weber County, an officer-involved shooting in Roy on July 7 left a suicidal man, Steven Kirkman, dead. An April 27 shootout between North Ogden police and Jeffrey Roberts left Roberts dead after the man killed his brother.
Officials from Weber Human Services, the agency tasked with overseeing efforts in Weber County to help those with mental health issues, will frequently respond to calls involving mental health crises, sometimes with officers, Young said. But when guns are involved, they typically won’t respond.
“We’re doing everything we can to right-size the response for the situation. We want to try and do what we can to have the best outcomes,” Young said. Given the involvement of an armed individual in Sunday’s incident, though, police “would have had to have been there immediately to keep everybody safe in that situation.”
Shooting incidents take “an unseen toll” on the officers involved, Young said, noting the resources available to help them, including “peer support” teams. “Representatives from those teams have met with our officers along with my team, and they along with my team will continue to monitor the needs of those officers during this difficult time,” he said.
Young said he’s noticed a “dramatic increase” in officer-involved shootings and instances when violence is used against officers over the past five or six years.
“I’m just on a regular basis amazed at how often people are wrestling to try and get control of officers’ firearms, how many times people are punching at officers or using weapons against officers,” he said. “I’ve been doing this job for over 30 years now, and it’s always been a dangerous job. But I honestly believe it’s a far more dangerous job now than it was when I was out working the same job that these officers are working right now.”