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Video Shows Suspect Escaping Custody Before Being Shot By West Valley Officer

Draper City Police Chief Bryan Roberts.

Police have released a video capturing the officer-involved shooting that took place in Draper Wednesday morning.  34-year-old Jeffrey Nielson was shot and killed after he broke free from the custody of police officers who were arresting him on drug possession.

West Valley City Police Detective Jason Vincent was on his way to work when he spotted Nielson slumped over in an SUV. Vincent called for backup and was joined by two Draper police officers and a West Valley City officer. The video shows the officers switching Nielson’s handcuffs from those that belonged to a Draper police officer to the ones carried by West Valley Detective Vincent.

In the span of 38 seconds, the seemingly cooperative suspect escaped back into his vehicle, brandished a kitchen knife and was shot five times by Detective Vincent. Draper Police Chief Bryan Roberts says officers tried to use a Drive Taser gun to stun the suspect, but it failed to stop him.

Roberts says he thinks Detective Vincent acted accordingly, believing he and the other officers were in danger.

“As you can see from watching this, how dynamic things are and how quickly things change,” Roberts says. “And how difficult it is out there for the officers and the split second decisions they have to make and the things that they are confronted with.”

West Valley City Police Detective Jason Vincent is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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