Video shows Salt Lake police shooting gunman following reported fire

Body camera footage shows a Salt Lake police officer moments before shooting and injuring a man with a shotgun at 1421 S. Utahna Drive on July 9. Police were responding to a report that the man had set fire to the weeds in his yard. (Salt Lake Police)

Estimated reading time: 4-5 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY – “Let me see your hands! Drop the gun. Drop the gun. Drop the gun!” a Salt Lake policeman repeatedly shouts at a man holding a shotgun.

Moments later, two officers fire 11 to 12 shots, wounding the shooter and sending him running home,

On Wednesday, Salt Lake Police released body camera videos of multiple officers responding to the July 9 incident that culminated in an officer-involved shooting, including the two officers who fired their weapons.

Peter Michael Larsen, 44, was charged in 3rd District Court with two counts of assaulting an officer using a deadly weapon, a second-degree felony; arson, a third degree felony; reckless burning, a class A misdemeanor; plus three counts of interfering with a public official and three counts of threatening violence, Class B misdemeanors.

On July 9, Salt Lake Fire Department was called to 1421 S. Utahna Drive following a report that Larsen had set fire to the weeds in his yard, according to charging documents.

“Larsen was extremely agitated and told firefighters he would not speak to anyone. About eight hours later, a neighbor of Larsen called 911 stating that a person, later identified as Larsen, had set fire to the side north of 1423 Utahna Drive and was dousing the fire with water to try to keep it from spreading,” the charges state.

Firefighters again responded to Larsen’s home and began putting out the fire. But soon after, they were confronted by Larsen who threatened to release his dog and shoot firefighters if they came to his property, according to the charges.

The firefighters then called the police.

As officers gathered at the residence, they set up a perimeter around the house and called Larsen on a patrol car intercom in an attempt to get him out and surrender.

Two officers positioned themselves in a neighbor’s yard. An officer with a rifle hid behind a brick garage or outbuilding, while a second with a handgun stood behind a wooden fence. The two officers kept an eye on Larsen’s backyard, peering over and through gaps in a wooden fence that surrounded his backyard.

About 25 minutes after officers arrived at the scene, the officer with the rifle is heard on body camera video saying, “The back door is open, the back door is open” as Larsen exits. a trailer in the backyard.

“Let me see your hands! Drop the gun,” the officer orders.

Almost simultaneously, the two officers announce that Larsen has a weapon.

“He has a shotgun,” the second officer said.

Body camera footage shows Salt Lake police officers minutes before shooting and injuring a man with a shotgun at 1421 S. Utahna Drive on July 9.  Police were responding to a report that the man had set fire to the weeds in his yard.
Body camera footage shows Salt Lake police officers minutes before shooting and injuring a man with a shotgun at 1421 S. Utahna Drive on July 9. Police were responding to a report that the man had set fire to the weeds in his yard. (Photo: Salt Lake Police)

About a minute after officers first saw the door open, shots were fired. The officer with the rifle fired two shots, followed by two more shots from the officer with the pistol. On the video, it then appears that another nine to 10 shots are fired by the officer with the rifle before he stops and shouts, “Drop the gun, let me see your hands.”

It was unclear Thursday whether Larsen had fired any bullets. He ran home after the police shot him.

According to the charging documents, “Larsen pointed the shotgun in the direction of two police officers who then each fired their weapons, striking Larsen with both hands. Larsen dropped the shotgun and retreated into the house. After several minutes, Larsen surrendered to police and was taken into custody.”

According to Salt Lake Police, after the shooting, officers entered the home to look for Larsen, who did not resist. He was taken to a local hospital to be treated for his injuries and then imprisoned.

“He received emergency treatment with the planned plan of several more repair surgeries,” a police booking affidavit states.

The shooting involving an officer was still under investigation Thursday. But Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said he was pleased with his officers’ actions that day.

“I am very proud of the way our officers responded to this situation. Based on a preliminary review of body-worn camera footage, our officers acted quickly to protect firefighters, neighbors and others. agents. They used time and distance to their advantage, but still found themselves in a situation that quickly escalated,” the chief said in a statement.

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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and court reporter. He joined the KSL.com team in 2021 after many years reporting for the Deseret News

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