Salt Lake City PD offers statement after cop shoots teen suspect

SALT LAKE CITY -- The day after an officer-involved shooting sparked unrest on the streets of Salt Lake City, the police department has issued an official statement on the incident and family members say they've learned the teen has awoken from a coma.

Family of 17-year-old Abdi Mohamed tell FOX 13 News detectives have told them the teen is now awake and speaking in a hospital room Sunday evening, but they have not yet been able to see him. He was reportedly in a coma after being shot three times by police.

According to a press release from the Salt Lake City Police Department issued Sunday afternoon, officers witnessed two males with metal objects attacking a male victim around 8 p.m. in the area of 300 South Rio Grande Street.

The release states, "Officers confronted the two suspects and ordered them to drop the weapons. One of the males complied and dropped the weapon, the other continued to advance on the victim and was shot by officers."

A witness to the shooting told FOX 13 News they believe police did not appear to give the teen a chance to surrender, which they said sparked outrage among crowds in the vicinity. There is a homeless shelter nearby, contributing to the high number of people on the streets.

“The police said, ‘drop it’, once, then they shot him four times,” Selam Mohammed said. “We were trying to break it up before the police even came, but the police ran in on foot and pulled their guns out already. They already had them, like, as soon as he was running he was already grabbing for his gun, not even trying to Tase him or anything.”

Teen shot by police in Salt Lake City was identified by family as 17-year-old Abdi Mohamed.

Teen shot by police in Salt Lake City was identified by family as 17-year-old Abdi Mohamed.

The teen was taken to a hospital in critical condition, and Sunday his family identified him as 17-year-old Abdi Mohamed. Mohamed reportedly lived in West Valley City with his girlfriend and their son. He reportedly moved to the U.S. from Kenya about 10 years ago.

Police have not confirmed that identity, stating the teen's name would not be released because of his age.

Jeanetta Williams, President of the Salt Lake City chapter of the NAACP, told FOX 13 News that in their view the issue in question, at this point, seems to be the level of force used by police rather than an issue of race.

"Did they feel like their life was in danger, did they have to shoot?  You know, so those are some of the questions that we're wanting to ask and see why," Williams said Sunday.

The press release from police states that immediately after the shooting, a crowd gathered and became hostile, with some people throwing rocks or bottles at police. Officers asked the crowd to disperse to allow police and medical personnel to respond to the scene, but many in the crowd did not comply.

Saturday, police said nearly 100 officers responded to the scene, and several streets and public transportation were shut down in the area. Police stated four people were arrested for crimes related to civil disorder.

Both officers were wearing body cameras that were activated during the shooting. That footage has been turned over to the Unified Police Department, which is the outside agency investigating the shooting.

Salt Lake City PD stated that because this is an open and active investigation, "release of the body camera recordings could reasonably be expected to interfere with that investigation." The release also stated the teen is currently being screened for criminal charges, and the release of the footage could deprive the teen of an impartial hearing.

Once the UPD investigation concludes, the District Attorney's Office will determine whether or not the shooting was legally justified. FOX 13 News has reached out to obtain that footage through a government records request.

Chief Mike Brown offered a brief statement in the press release.

“We are committed, to ensuring the Salt Lake City Police Department does business appropriately, in line with the community’s trust and expectations,” Brown stated. “Our goal is to always de-escalate any type of volatile situation using the minimal amount of force necessary.”

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski issued a statement Sunday, discussing the shooting and the broader issue of police use of force, adding she recognizes this is the third "significant use of force incident" involving SLC PD in the last month.

Biskupski stated in part: “It is critical in times like these we do not circle the wagons against each other in our efforts to improve our criminal justice system–and we can always improve. I encourage the public to stay involved and engage in civil dialogue.”

46 comments

  • bob

    So the cops shot him because he continued to attack a homeless man with a broom handle.

    If that’s what actually happened then I applaud their efforts, and I’m proud to say my tax money bought the bullets. But let’s see the body cam footage.

    • ERIK ANDERSON

      Apparently you approve of two males with metal objects attacking a single male victim Bob. You mentality tells us all we need to know about you.

      • thoughtsblots

        Really huh? so pummelling a homeless man with a metal broomstick handle is okay? That’s TOTALLY okay and we should not expect police officers to take action against a criminal putting someone’s life and well being in danger?

        You are truly an idiot to claim racism when you don’t have an inkling of the idea of the situation.

  • FinnyWiggen

    Why would anyone want to be a police officer! This is pathetic.

    Another thug gets shot for committing a violent crime, and the public turns against the police!

    Absolutely pathetic.

    A sincere thank you to the police, who serve, despite the Crud they have to put up with from an entitled populace.

  • Brock

    If the police officers would have let the attack continue and the victim die, the comments would be “Why did the PIG COPS watch while a man was murdered”.
    Seriously, some people just hate police officers. They will blame the cops in every situation.
    When you have to dial 911 for someone attacking you, I bet you will feel differently. I can’t imagine you wanting the cops to phone-a-friend for advice and beg the attacker to please be reasonable while the perp keeps bashing you in the head.

  • mambo504

    If I were the person being beaten, I certainly would have welcomed the police officer’s use of deadly force to save my life. I believe the officer will receive a huge thank you for intervening in such a quick and decisive way, instead of the assailant having the chance to get in one more deadly blow.

  • Hope

    Well I hope ALL the people who said crap against the police NOW apologize and turn their hate and anger to the 2 that were beating an “older male” with metal pipes. Once again we see how people jump to conclusions without knowing what actually happened. This reminds me of thug Mike Brown who does strong arm robbery and uses his size to brutalize people and then the community jumps to conclusions with some story about “hands up don’t shoot”. Well we all no that was a lie and he was a degenerate.
    The good thing is police have this on Video and it will show the thugs were in the wrong AGAIN and justified. People if you do not want to interact with any law enforcement be a good citizen and not a punk, Oh and Jean williams and the naacp quit sticking up for folks who chose to not live civil, and if you want to help this guy teach him how to be home with his child and be a role model not out at the Homeless shelter beating people up.

  • Kevin

    The media is complicit in the distortion of information about police these days. I noticed the reporting speaks of a ’17 year old boy’ shot by police. I also read further down (past where most people read) that this ’17 year old boy’ lives with his girlfriend and their son. In most other circumstances he would be referred to as a ‘man’ or a ‘young man’. If he is grown enough to be a father, living with his girlfriend, I would venture to say he considers himself a ‘man’, who apparently felt grown enough to attack a defenseless homeless person with a metal broom handle. If he refused to drop his weapon when commanded by police to do so and was in the attitude of attacking the homeless person, the police had an obligation to stop him from further causing death or serious bodily injury to the man he was attacking. I find it reprehensible that the media portrays the event in a way to elicit feelings of sympathy for the perpetrator, calling him a ‘boy’. Progressives and socialist liberals in this country are working hard to undermine the fabric of our society. They have paid thugs who work to foment anarchy by stirring up negative emotions toward police and other authorities. Social media and the internet are about the only way those of us who don’t want to see this country destroyed will be able to expose this cancerous growth in our society and stop it’s spread.

  • Whoopie-Doo

    How many times does an officer have to ask one to comply? Drop the gun (or other object). Please drop the gun ( or other object). Pretty please and just drop the gun (or other object) or else I will shoot you. Please, please, with sugar on top, drop the gun (or other object), I don’t want you to get hurt.

    It should go this way: You ask them to drop the gun (or other object). You tell them to drop the gun (or other object). You make them drop the gun (or other object).

    • William

      And all of that can happen within a very short time. The fact that the other guy dropped his weapon and didn’t get shot is proof enough that the officers gave this punk enough time to comply. When he didn’t comply they made him comply. Curse all the morons who would rather watch a “good kid” murder someone with a metal pole than see that kid get shot. I’m glad he was shot, and I hope they put him away for as long as possible for aggravated attempted murder.

      • TY

        Amen William! You have two individuals in the exact same scenario and one of them listens to the police and drops the weapon and doesn’t get shot. The other person doesn’t comply, keep in mind that this person is in the same exact situation as the other person, and he get shot.

        He obviously had a reasonable amount of time to comply and he chose not to. Choice, action, consequence.

  • Gabriel

    It seems like the the police should have tazed him instead of shooting him then there wouldn’t have been the big out burst there was

    • ERIK ANDERSON

      Yo Gabriel, if you just follow Chris Rocks advice you won’t have to wonder “am I about to get my @ss kicked by the police”.

    • William

      Right, and when your life is on the line I’m sure you’ll beg them to take it easy on the criminal attacking you. People who have never shot a gun or a taser in their life have no right to comment on this situation. “Why didn’t they shoot to wound?” Because it’s not reasonable or even possible in almost every situation. “Why didn’t they use a taser?” Because with a taser you get one shot, and your range is very limited. If it doesn’t work, all it takes is one more blow from the metal pole and the victim is dead. You don’t meet lethal force with less lethal force. Let’s be clear, there is only one victim in this story, and it’s not the guy who got shot.

  • Tee

    That statement from that first lady tells you all you need to know ….”whatever was done last night was injustice”. So it wouldn’t matter one iota that police were doing their jobs nor does it matter that we don’t have all of the facts. To these folks, it’s just a reason for drama and attention

  • Phil Sullivan

    When you disobey a police officer, and you are still advancing and threatening another person or the police officer. You are going to get shot. They are trained to shoot to kill. It’s not hard to understand. Therefore. all this protesting is just a complete overreaction. It has nothing to do with color it does not matter if your are Black, Latino, Asian, Muslim, Native American, came from Space or The City of Atlantis. If you don’t comply you can get killed. If he put the broom stick when he was ordered he would not be in a coma now. Period. End of Story.

  • James (@james2life)

    When they said “…this is the third “significant use of force incident” involving SLC PD in the last month.”

    What were the other two? I don’t remember hearing about them. Anyone have the links to the other two?

    • Ron

      So i dont have the links but i do remember them, and let me say that those were also justified!
      the first was of the man the beat the officer on the side of the head nearly cutting off the officers ear. people are asking why that man was then beating and tazed. (he was never shot, just tased and beatan with a baton)

      the other was of the man that ran from police after they made contact with him on the street. they caught up to him near Major st. SLC and he had a gun pointed at himself. a video shows he then turned the gun on the closest officer and that when he was shot.

      again both of these event got a just response from police in my opinion.

  • freewilltwo

    so how can the release of the cameras interfere with the investigation?…do they need time to alter it?..if a hundred cops showed up..we should be suspicious of a government on the verge of being out of control..yes people..cops are minions of the judicial branch

    • Ron

      umm did you run out of tin foil for your hat????

      it hurts the investigation because 1. its against the law to release videos of juveniles committing crimes. 2. it will also hurt the juveniles case should it go to court and thus hurting the prosecutions case because at that point it is being tried in the media and not a court of law.

    • ERIC ANDERSON

      It would prejudice a future jury pool if this little thug is charged with assault. It wouldn’t be fair to the suspect. Get it now moron?

  • mr. ed

    America needs to stop watching so much tv. Tasers do not always work. First you have to be fairly close to the target to actually use it and the prongs have to penetrate the clothing and skin. Even if you do get a good hit with it often the target will not go down. When you have a slit second to stop an attack that may end a person’s life that’s a big chance to take. If the teaser don’t work now the officer and the victim are within reach of a potentially lethal weapon. As we all see there were two attackers and the one that complied and dropped his weapon wasn’t shot. The one that advanced on the victim was. The officers may very well of saved the older man’s life.

  • Ronsrar

    America adopted this miscreant at 7 years old. Ten years later he’s assaulting our citizens while he has a baby at home but im supposed to be angry at the men and women defending this country?

  • KDC

    Effective 5/12/2015
    76-2-404. Peace officer’s use of deadly force.
    (1) A peace officer, or any person acting by the officer’s command in providing aid and assistance, is justified in using deadly force when:
    (a) the officer is acting in obedience to and in accordance with the judgment of a competent court in executing a penalty of death under Subsection 77-18-5.5(2), (3), or (4);
    (b) effecting an arrest or preventing an escape from custody following an arrest, where the officer reasonably believes that deadly force is necessary to prevent the arrest from being defeated by escape; and
    (i) the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect has committed a felony offense involving the infliction or threatened infliction of death or serious bodily injury; or
    (ii) the officer has probable cause to believe the suspect poses a threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or to others if apprehension is delayed; or
    (c) the officer reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to the officer or another person.
    (2) If feasible, a verbal warning should be given by the officer prior to any use of deadly force under Subsection (1)(b) or (1)(c).

    Amended by Chapter 47, 2015 General Session

    Sounds like a clean shoot to me

  • Teresa

    Why did he run? Other news is saying he was carrying a metal pipe. If he was innocent why did he not comply to the orders given? All these racist saying he got shot because he was black. Just for fun let’s look back. Anyone remember the white guy that was carrying a snow shovel. He got shot because he didn’t comply to the officer. The boy should be thinking about the law. And in school. Not knocking up a girl at17. And causing trouble on the street’s of Salt Lake.

  • uh-huh

    Question(s): 1) when was the last time you had .90 seconds to make a decision, in that area (The worst in Salt Lake metropolitan area (the worst 1/2 block in 100 miles)), 2) when was the last time that you dealt directly ~ in an opposing manner to the (Armed) homeless? 3) when was the last time that you had dealt with “street people” on THIS block, knowing what attracts these people to THIS block, if you cannot answer this, you should wonder why, you should ask yourself “Should i make a judgment, based upon inaccurate information?”, I know these people, and in fact, i have better witness testimony than the friends, than the police, i know these people, i spend every day with them, “I back the police in this incident”. And an interesting question for YOU!!!!!, WTF???? was a 17 Year old, doing? in the worst part of (100 miles)????? this block is ONLY known for HOMELESS DRUG DEALS, has been for years…. this IS A FACT. please, think of this. (note about me….my business property line borders a homeless shelter, has for 18 years, the “Incident” happened 1.2 blocks away from my business). P.S. i deal with 100’s of homeless within 1 block of this incident a week, have for years, is it a part of doing business in SLC. they trust me, they know me,….the simple act of giving a “Smoke” goes a long way, given the circumstances that were told to me (moments after the “incident”)…. “i Back the SLPD” .

  • MCW

    The police won’t release the footage, they need to build a lie around the event that they think we’ll buy. If the police were easily justified the fottage would have been released already.

    • ANOTHERBOB

      The police aren’t interested in what you will or won’t buy MCW. As a matter of fact MCW they couldn’t care less about what you think. The puke got exactly what he deserved.

    • ERIK ANDERSON

      And if the little puke is charged with a crime all the potential jurors will have already seen the evidence and won’t need waste time holding a trial to convict him.
      MCW is a genuine idiot.

  • Greg jacquart

    This is the very reason I retired from Law Enforcement. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Every move scrutinized by those who have no clue what it is like to make a split second decision to save a life by possibly taking a life and then living with that decision the rest of your life. All i want to say is any way you look at these incidents it is a sad ending for all involved.

  • Anotherbob

    Honestly I’m leaning towards believing the cops side of the story in this case. IMO if you’re assaulting someone, especially two vs one, you don’t deserve to get ample warning to stop. The only reason people are mad is because he’s black, they would rather believe this was a racially motivated shooting than open their eyes and realize he was physically assaulting someone. Now the criminal will try to sue and taxpayers get to go through this again.

  • Mike

    The Story Should Read : 2 Thugs were Beating a Homeless Man, The POLICE Responded, Gave a Command To STOP, 1 Thug DID AND WAS NOT SHOT !!!

  • ERIC ANDERSON

    Pukes like DAVIS MAINA in his comment above like to accuse others of racism. It makes them feel superior in the own minds. In truth they are bigoted little people that have to say something that will boost their self image.
    Thank good this story wasn’t about two white drug dealers beating a black homeless man. Davis Maina would have been singing a whole different tune.

  • Tim

    As soon as the kid is well enough, we’ll give him the keys to the city, and make him
    honorary mayor’

  • Jay

    A 17 year old father is (1) a pedophile, having sex with an underage girl (2) not married to his girlfriend, although they have one child together and so (3) an “adulterer,” (4) an extremely dangerous thug, beats people with metal rods (5) gets himself shot in the process of trying to beat someone to death or extort/rob the victim (6) and it seems nobody cares about the victim at all, the “community” of other Muslim monsters only care about and rave about the perpetrator in this case, and rave about so called “police brutality” which should have been final, in my opinion.

    The other perpetrator stopped when the police ordered them to stop; this one kept advancing and attacking the unarmed victim when he was already down–, and was shot. GOOD. I support the police action, and hope to see more like it. It’s too bad he wasn’t killed.

    Anyway as a MUslim, the Koran requires him to persecute and attack all non-Muslims, so I imagine that’s what he was doing, if it wasn’t just robbery, or extorting an unarmed junkie for drug money, or whatever. Muslims shouldn’t be in this country. This is the USA. We have democracy here, not sharia law, not vermin religion called “Islamofascism,” which is purely fascism, and not even “scripture” but garbage evil “doctrine” based on the ravings of a pedophile syphilitic madman.

  • Jay

    Who says it was a broom handle? I want that proven. I claim it was a piece of solid steel rebar. No thug in his right mind (wrong mind) would arm himself to shake down and extort junkies using an old wimpy broom handle.

  • Jay

    Freedom of religion in the USA: We allow Muslims to preach, teach, organize, enter our prison system to set up prison mosques & schools, enter our country from abroad, and fly in the USA without any Xray screening in many cases, apparently, to show “respect” for those organizing to destroy us (thanks Obama, you traitor). Meanwhile, Islam does not allow or tolerate any freedom of religion, either for its own members, or for anyone else. As Islam gains a foothold in North America, religious freedom is being destroyed in direct proportion. So, as we try to exclude Islam and MUslims from entering the USA in ever increasing masses, we are met with the argument that the USA upholds complete freedom of religion. But in the case of Islam, we uphold “fascism” masquerading as a “religion.” We uphold this so called “religion” even though its presence in any community reduces the freedom of religion for all in that area; and as Muslim populations grow and multiply in certain areas, the “freedom of religion” is quickly extinguished. Muslims then institute “sharia law,” regardless of the law of the land. They destroy all US Constitutional rights wherever they gain a foothold inside the USA. They destroy every right in the Bill of Rights. They institute “totalitarian fascism” and Sharia law; they force women to be chattel and breeder stock for men who herd them like sheep. Muslims violate every right enumerated in the United Nations Charter; they violate the rights of children, they butcher kidnap victims. They butcher animals in total disregard for the pain & suffering of the animal, which should bring the ASPCA down on their heads like a ton of bricks. WHY ARE THESE ANIMALS CODDLED AND APPEASED? Kick them out of the USA or destroy them in their tracks. By not examining what the principles and beliefs in the Koran are, we have brought the DEVIL HIMSELF into our midst, and he’s sinking his claws in very deep right now, into our schools, churches, communities, bureaucracy. It’s time for all out war against the Islamofascist enemy, folks.

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