OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 News) – An internal review by the Roy City Police Department showed Agent Jason VanderWarf’s use of force on the night of Jan. 4, in which he and several officers were involved in a shootout, was within reason.
The report details the shootout between agents and suspect Matthew David Stewart. It said VanderWarf was forced to make split-second decisions under tense and rapidly evolving circumstances. Deadly force was a reasonable option for effectively bring the incident under control.
The report indicated VanderWarf was shot in the hip after seeing Agents Grogen, Burrell and Francom shot. Stewart allegedly continued to fire upon VanderWarf and fellow Agent Draper, as the two were attempting to rescue the downed officers.
At this time VanderWarf returned fire upon Stewart who was shooting at them from his front door.
VanderWarf fired two rounds, but missed Stewart. The bullets went through the front door and damaged the inside of the home.
VanderWarf’s actions were within reason to use force because he and every other officer in Stewart’s home were in imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.
The report also states, Stewart had already committed a felony involving the inflicting or threatened inflicting of serious bodily injury or death and the circumstances precluded the communications of a verbal warning.
Therefore VanderWarf’s actions were within policy to discharge his firearm.