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Utah attorney general reopens investigation into 2008 officer-involved shooting

Published December 15, 2011 7:03 pm

Courts • Family of Farmington firefighter killed by officers sues for release of information.
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The Utah Attorney General's Office Thursday confirmed it has reopened an investigation into an 2008 officer-involved shooting that killed a Farmington firefighter.

A.G. spokesman Paul Murphy said the office had reopened the case involving the Sept. 22, 2008, shooting death of part-time firefighter Brian Wood, 37, who was killed by officers outside his Farmington home in a 12-hour standoff.

Murphy said he couldn't comment on what prompted the office to reopen the case and couldn't discuss when it had been reopened or how long the new investigation was expected to take.

Wood's family, however, has previously alleged in a civil lawsuit, filed against Farmington city, Davis County, sheriff's deputy Joshua Boucher and Salt Lake City, that Wood could not have posed a threat that justified the use of deadly force.

The family claims the bullet's path — through Wood's left cheek and spine and exiting just above his right shoulder blade — disproved Boucher's account that Wood was pointing a gun at him when Boucher fired the fatal shot.

The Attorney General's Office had previously cleared Boucher in the shooting.

On Thursday, Wood's family's attorney, S. Brook Millard, filed a lawsuit in 3rd District Court against Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, alleging he was failing to comply with a GRAMA or Government Records Access and Management Act request seeking complete copies of any documents, photographs, charts, witness statements, testing data, ballistic testing results, summaries, unedited recordings and other information concerning the incident.

Millard, who could not be reached for comment Thursday evening, is asking the court to order Shurtleff to release all documentation pertaining to the case.

In a letter to the A.G.'s Office included as part of the suit against Shurtleff, Millard said he had been told the investigation had been reopened.

Murphy said he couldn't comment on the lawsuit because he had not yet had a chance to review it.

Authorities said the 2008 standoff began when Wood called 911 to report — falsely, his family claims — that he had beaten and raped his wife. When police arrived, Wood had gotten into a pickup truck, displayed two pistols and refused to get out, police said.

A few hours after police arrived, they used tear gas and pepper spray to drive Wood out of the truck and a SWAT team began "barraging" Wood with more than 25 rounds of rubber bullets, projectile bean bags, seventy pepper-spray pellets, tear gas and flash-bang diversionary grenades, Wood's family claimed in their lawsuit against police.

One officer struck Wood with a Taser eight times in 43 seconds and the family claims wounds indicate he was hit with a second Taser an unknown number of times, the family alleges.

As Wood was on the ground, the family and police said, Boucher fired the fatal shot from a .308-caliber rifle.







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