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County Prosecutor Says Abdi Mohamed Shooting Justified

KUER file
Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder and Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announce the results of the Rio Grande officer-involved shooting case.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced Monday his office has deemed the February shooting of 17-year-old Abdi Mohamed by two Salt Lake City Police officers justified. Gill’s office is also pursuing charges against the teenager, who survived the gunshot wounds. 

Sim Gill says Abdi Mohamed was attacking a man outside the homeless shelter on Rio Grande Street and refused to comply with officers when ordered to drop his weapon. Officers shot him four times.

“They saw a person who was being attacked,” Gill says. "They believed that there were metal objects that were being used and a potential harm that was going to happen to this victim.”

Gill’s office sought outside opinions on the case from the FBI and use-of-force experts. Gill says the FBI declined to open an investigation. The experts concluded the use of force was justified.

Gill continues to withhold from the public the body camera footage obtained from the incident. He says it will be used as evidence in a separate case against Mohamed.

“As we embrace these new technologies, we have to recognize that they are also capturing ostensibly material evidence of potential criminal wrongdoing,” Gill says. “And as such, we have an obligation to make sure that that evidence is preserved for that purpose.”

Gill’s office filed charges against Mohamed Monday in juvenile court and is petitioning to try Mohamed as an adult.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski called Gill’s decision in a statement the result of a thorough and independent investigation into the events. She also said she’s finalizing language for a policy regarding the release of police body camera footage.

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