SALT LAKE CITY — A violent struggle between Salt Lake City police and a groping suspect left the man dead and two officers hospitalized, Chief Mike Brown said Friday.
Michael Bruce Peterson, 39, was shot to death near a downtown gas station Thursday afternoon, Brown said. Officers stopped him after getting a 911 call about a man going into a downtown salon and behaving erratically. Peterson was suspected of grabbing a female worker, lying on a work station while refusing to leave and trying to grab a man’s phone.
Police caught up with him at a nearby parking lot and a struggle began. Officers also tried to subdue him with a baton and a Taser before the shots were fired, he said.
One officer suffered a broken nose, broken ankle and other injuries, while the other had cuts and bruises. Both have since been released and are at home recovering, Brown said.
He declined to release their names, but he said one is an experienced senior officer and the other is newer to the force. One is on paid administrative leave, and the other is on medical leave, Brown said.
“This was a very dynamic, a very violent, intense encounter,” he said, according to KUTV.
Witness John Haglund told the station that one officer had been beaten with his own baton. Brown said that account is still under investigation.
Peterson doesn’t have a long history with Salt Lake City police, Brown said.
West Valley City police are reviewing body-camera video, surveillance footage and witness statements as they investigate the shooting, Brown said.