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Officer Cleared in September Shooting that Saved a Woman's Life

Salt Lake City Police Department
K-9 Officer Ben Hone saved the life of a woman when he shot and killed a man who had broken into her home.

A Salt Lake City Police Officer who shot and killed a burglary suspect last month has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Forty-eight-year-old Robert Richard Berger had already broken into one Salt Lake City home on the night of September 23rd. After being forced out by the family who lived there he climbed through the window of a neighboring home, where he began attacking two sisters, Breann and Kayli Lasley. Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown says Officer Ben Hone was responding to the first incident when he was flagged down by one of the sisters who had escaped. He came into the house to find Berger attacking 28-year-old Breann Lasley. Berger had already stabbed Lasley multiple times. Chief Brown says Officer Hone fired one fatal shot to Berger’s head.

“Do I have time for backup?” Brown asks. “Can I wait? What should I do? He just acted immediately. He rolled those elements through his mind, responded to his training and took the action he needed.”

Berger had just been released from the Utah State Prison.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill says this was an example of an officer-involved shooting gone right.

“And when it is done right with the right training under the right circumstances, which actually is a measure of service and justice that is given to our community, then it needs to be recognized as well,” Gill says.

The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office is required by Utah State law to investigate police officers’ use of deadly or potentially deadly force in the line of duty. 

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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