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The tough decision police make before shooting an armed suspect

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – Suspect Anthony Mayhew sat along at a TRAX station on Main Street between 200 South and 400 South as police tried to talk him into putting an explosive device down and walking away.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – Suspect Anthony Mayhew sat along at a TRAX station on Main Street between 200 South and 400 South as police tried to talk him into putting an explosive device down and walking away.

Mayhew did the opposite. He walked toward police and one officer fired a single shot killing him.

Detective McGowan says all these factors led up to this fatal shooting.

"I believe there was no other option," McGowan said.

ABC 4 is taking a closer look at the factors police considered before firing the fatal shot.

First, Mayhew said he had a bomb in his backpack and threatened to detonate it just after 9:00 p.m. Police blocked off the area from West Temple to State Street and the street Mayhew was on.

Police surrounded the suspect when he started walking to police.

"The police realized this was an imminent threat and told him more than one time repeatedly stop in a low enough voice clearly enough that he could hear under the circumstances. He didn't stop he continued to proceed towards the police," said Detective Dennis McGowan.

ABC 4 is asking if non-lethal force could have been used. We brought the question to witnesses.

"He apparently was very distressed and I think the cops did what they had to do, because no one knows what his intentions were," said Lisa Park.

"If he had a bomb, I mean eliminating the person doesn't necessarily eliminate the risk of a bomb going off, but I think in this situation what was done was probably the right thing," said Erica Logue.

A difficult decision with serious results, but police say they fired to fatal shot to protect life.

Police also revealed Friday that the device in Mayhew's backpack was explosive.




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