SANDY, UTAH — A suspect who was able to partially remove an officer’s gun from the holster and fire it during a scuffle on Thursday was stopped from causing further mayhem by a witness who immediately came to the officer’s aid.
According to a Sandy Police Department spokesman, the incident occurred at the AT&T store located at 11316 S. State Street. The suspect removed a security device from an Apple Watch, setting off an alarm in the store. Employees who questioned the man discovered that a second Apple Watch was also missing, which was later located in a drawer beside where the man was standing.
SPD was called, and as the responding officer arrived the suspect ran out the door and into the parking lot. He tripped, which allowed the officer to grab him. A physical struggle ensued, during which a witness saw the suspect “pull the firearm partially out of (the officer’s) holster and place his finger on the trigger,” according to an affidavit. The pistol was fired once, with the bullet exiting the holster and striking the ground.
The witness then used both of his hands to grab the suspect’s hand, pry it from the gun, and push the gun back into the holster. Additional officers arrived and were able to take the man into custody.
The suspect, Brandon Keith Thompson, 41, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of disarming a police officer, interfering with an arrest, failing to stop at the command of law enforcement, shoplifting, and removing a security device.
Thompson appears to be on a roll…albeit all downhill. He already has several pending misdemeanor and felony charges in three other cases over the past four months. In March it was for failing to respond to an officer’s signal to stop. In May, it was failing to stop for police, reckless driving, and 100 mph in a 65-mph zone while fleeing from police. Most recently, he was charged just ten days before the AT&T incident with burglary and burglary of a vehicle.
It appears that catch and release applies to more than just trout in Utah. Meanwhile reform efforts continue at the state level to eliminate cash bail requirements under the guise of reducing inequities between rich and poor defendants.