RIVERDALE — The Weber County Attorney’s Office has cleared a Riverdale Police officer of any wrongdoing in a May shooting, according to a letter obtained by the Standard-Examiner.
The letter, dated July 29, was written by Weber County Attorney Christopher Allred and directed to Riverdale Police Chief Scott Brenkman. Allred ultimately rules that Riverdale Police Officer Tyrel Dalton was justified when he fired several shots at a man with a gun on May 23.
The document is the first time that a more clear line of events leading up to the shooting has been released, as little details were given to the public in the days after the shooting.
The man shot, identified in the letter as Davin Stott, ultimately survived the shooting.
According to the letter, on May 22 Stott had apparently sent “odd” text messages to his girlfriend and one of his family members. The woman later noticed that a gun Stott owned was missing from their apartment. The woman later drove to Farr West to meet with Stott, who reportedly told the woman “he was going to kill himself,” according to the letter.
Police say that a day or two prior to the shooting, Stott had learned that a “sexual assault allegation” had been made against him. According to the letter, Stott had told the woman that “he did not want to go to jail, and he would rather be dead.”
The woman briefly stopped at her mother’s home before leaving. Later, she told her mother that Stott had a gun and was suicidal, prompting the mother to call 911.
Police received the call at 11:34 p.m. on May 22 and arrived at the Riverdale apartment building shortly thereafter. At the time, police were not aware of the sexual assault allegation, but were told that Stott thought he was “in trouble,” the letter says.
Officers were able to make contact with the woman in the apartment, who initially said that Stott had already left. Police said they needed to make sure the woman was safe, and asked her to leave the apartment so they could search inside. After initially refusing to come out, the woman was later convinced to leave the apartment and said that Stott was inside with a gun, according to the letter.
Police called into the apartment using a loudspeaker and told Stott that he was not in any trouble and they were just trying to help. The letter indicates that at the time, police were not aware of any possible criminal allegations made against Stott.
Officers later contemplated leaving the scene, as Stott had not committed any crime. However, they remained at the scene because of “serious” concerns they had, one being that the woman told them she would go inside if police were to leave. Police were worried about letting the woman go back inside to a man with a gun who was “clearly distraught.” Police were also concerned that if the gun would be fired, the bullet could potentially go through a wall or ceiling and hit something or someone else in the apartment complex.
Later, a Roy Police sergeant set up a ballistic shield and tried to look into the apartment, but the blinds were closed. Though the officer could not see into the home, he heard someone cough. The sergeant called out to Stott, who eventually responded and the two started talking. The sergeant told Stott that he was not in trouble and they wanted to help, and the conversation would continue for over an hour, according to the report.
The sergeant told Stott that if he walked through the door with nothing in his hands, everything would be OK. The sergeant reportedly told Stott “no less than five times” that he should not have anything in his hands. Stott then asked if he could go to the window to talk, which officers said he could do. The blinds then opened suddenly, police said, and Stott was holding a gun in his left hand. The report says that roughly 2 to 3 feet separated the officers from Stott.
Officer Tyrel Dalton was standing behind the sergeant, acting as his cover. The sergeant was not holding a gun, as he was holding the shield at an “awkward angle” and couldn’t have his gun out at the same time. When the blinds opened, officers immediately shouted at Stott to drop the gun at least six times, the report says.
Stott backed up into the kitchen of the apartment, and Dalton reportedly saw Stott “arch his hand up, pointing the gun at him (Dalton),” the report says.
Dalton shot his weapon five times, with bullets going through the window and hitting Stott.
Police found that Stott was hit “several” times in his upper body and head. He was rushed to McKay-Dee Hospital and was said to be in critical condition. Stott would later pull through, and was released from the hospital.
When police searched the apartment, they retrieved Stott’s 9 mm handgun and found a live round in the chamber and a full magazine.
In the days following the shooting, Dalton told investigators that officers had tried for over an hour to peacefully resolve the situation and put an end to any potential danger to Stott or the woman.
“I was scared for the people living upstairs if shots started going off,” Dalton said to investigators. “I was scared for myself and (Roy Police sergeant)’s life. I thought ‘holy cow, this guy is in a position where he has the drop on us, and he is clearly not surrendering.’”
The Roy Police sergeant told investigators that he, too, was worried when seeing Stott in the window with a gun. He said that if he was not holding the ballistics shield and had his gun drawn, he would have also fired, the report says.
Weber County Attorney Christopher Allred said Wednesday that the sexual assault allegation was still under investigation, but the police shooting aspect of the case is closed.
The shooting is one of five officer-involved shootings to take place in Weber County in 2019. Three of those police shootings, including the incident in Riverdale, have been non-fatal shootings, and they have taken place in Harrisville and West Haven. The two most recent police shootings have been fatal, and have taken place in Roy and Ogden.