Body camera footage released Friday shows a deadly police-involved shooting in Roy, Utah, earlier this year in which an officer wrestled a gun from a man before shooting him with it.
Two Roy police officers responded to a trespassing call Feb. 21 at a gas station about 30 miles north of Salt Lake City. At first, 38-year-old Nicolas Sanchez was hesitant to talk to the officers.
“What do you want to talk to me for?” he asks in the video.
“I will let you know. We got called over here on you,” one officer says, pointing to Sanchez.
“What did I do, though?” he asks. Eventually, Sanchez moves out of the entrance of the gas station and agrees to talk to the officers.
“Keep your hands out of your pockets for me,” one officer tells him.
“Oh, sorry, I ain’t got nothin’,” says Sanchez, lifting his sweatshirt. That’s when one officer spotted a gun in his waistband.
“You got a gun on you. Do not reach for it,” the officer tells him.
“Huh?” says Sanchez. One officer starts to walk towards him and tries to grab him, but Sanchez turns around and takes off.
“What are you doing, dude? What are you doing?” Sanchez asks.
A struggle ensues and 16 shots were fired in six seconds. Sanchez was killed.
“At one point, the officer trying to wrestle the gun from Sanchez’s hands saw the gun pointing at his face,” said Heather White, an attorney for Roy City, in a statement.
White said the officer standing away from the struggle saw that his partner was in danger, and opened fire. During the struggle, the officer took the gun from Sanchez.
“Fearing Sanchez may have another weapon, and hearing shots fired, the first officer shot Sanchez with the gun he had wrested from Sanchez,” the statement says. “When the first officer saw Sanchez was not moving, he dropped Sanchez’ gun and drew his gun from his holster.”
The officers haven’t been named, as a Weber County attorney’s office investigation is ongoing.
Sanchez had a lengthy rap sheet, including assault, battery, robbery, drug possession, possession of stolen property, gang activity, weapons violations, controlled substance violations, parole violations, DUI, unlawful discharge of a weapon at a person from a car, and attempted murder, according to the lawyer’s statement.
“Sanchez’ reckless actions in those split seconds dictated the actions the officers took that day,” said White. “The officers did what they are trained to do and what we expect them to do: protect themselves and others against violent and irrational behavior. Because of their actions, no one but Sanchez was injured that night.”