Salt Lake City, UT – Police released bodycam video on Friday of officers shooting an armed man who was holding a knife to a hostage (video below).
The incident occurred at about 9:20 a.m. on July 25 after employees at Smith Food and Drug in the 400-block of S. 500 East called 911, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
The caller said two men had stolen an umbrella from the store and were fighting in the parking lot.
“We kicked them out of the store as soon as possible. But they’re just — they can’t even walk straight,” the employee told the 911 dispatcher, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
Bodycam video showed that when police arrived on the scene, the suspect was walking down the sidewalk with his hand on the other man’s shoulder and a long knife in his other hand.
In the video, an officer told the suspect – later identified as 34-year-old Andrew Preece – to drop the knife.
But Preece did not comply.
So the officer told the suspect to stop, and threatened to Tase him if he didn’t, the video showed.
That’s when Preece grabbed the other man and put the knife to his throat.
“He’s got a hostage,” the officer advised dispatch.
“Put the knife down dude, it’s not worth it,” a female officer yelled in the video. “Put it down.”
“I guarantee you dude. I promise you,” she continued to try and de-escalate the situation. “Look, I don’t make promises I can’t keep. I don’t make promises I can’t keep. I promise you that. Look dude it’s not worth it.”
The suspect responded to the officers but his responses were unintelligible on the video.
“Look dude, it’s not worth it. It’s not worth it dude,” the officer said again.
And then she opened fire on Preece, the video showed.
Bodycam video showed the officer fired six measured shots.
Her partner also fired at the hostage taker, the video showed.
The video showed the officers fired almost a dozen shots between the two of them.
“What the f—k, dude?” the hostage asked after Preece was shot.
Officers immediately rendered First Aid but Preece was declared dead at the scene by responding medical personnel, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Officials said both officers involved had been placed on paid administrative leave while the incident is investigated, as is protocol for all officer-involved shootings.
Preece was no stranger to the Salt Lake City police department, KUTV reported.
He was arrested on April 2 for drug possession after he turned himself into police and told officers that he had heroin and syringes on him, according to Gephardt Daily.
“I located Andrew and searched for any warrants and did not find any,” the probable cause statement read. “He advised that he was in possession in syringes and heroin. He surrendered these items and he was advised that due to COVID-19, the charges would be screened but he was not going to jail.”
When Preece was released from custody, he told officers exactly what he was going to do next, KUTV reported.
“He then stated that he was going to go somewhere and take all the money. [Preece] was released and walked away from the scene. A short time later, we received another call from a restaurant nearby reporting a robbery in progress,” an officer wrote in the arrest report, according to KUTV.
Police responded and found Preece was still at the restaurant when they arrived.
“Employees advised that [Preece] walked up to the drive thru window and demanded money. When he was told they couldn’t do that, he forced his way in through the drive thru window and tried to open the till,” according to the police report.
Preece was taken into custody for a second time the same night and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail, KUTV reported.
He was charged with robbery, drug possession, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Preece was initially held on a $10,000 bail, according to Gephardt Daily.
He had since been released from jail.
The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office has been tasked with the investigation into his fatal shooting, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. Warning – Graphic Content: