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South Jordan • A South Jordan police officer did not turn on a body camera he was wearing when he fatally shot a man this weekend in a horse corral, police officials said Monday.
The officer was testing a demo camera on Saturday when he was called to a trespassing report just after noon near 11300 S. Brook-N-Lance Lane. Officers identified Ty Worthington, 26, of South Jordan, as the trespassing suspect, police wrote in a news release Monday. They found him in a horse corral several properties away from the address of the trespassing report, Master Officer Samuel Winkler wrote in the statement.
At some point during the confrontation in the horse corral, Worthinton was shot to death. A neighbor said she heard several gunshots. Officers found a "small caliber handgun" near Worthington's body, Winkler said.
But the shooting wasn't caught on the body camera. The officer who fired on Worthington was wearing a model with "limited battery and memory storage," which officers use sparingly to last their 10-hour shifts, Winkler said. It also doesn't have a pre-record feature, which stores a rolling length of footage usually 30 seconds to be saved when the camera is activated.
"While officers investigated the situation for nearly 45 minutes, the camera was not activated," Winkler said. "This was considered a routine call, where officers would not normally activate a camera system while conducting an area search. The officer encountered the subject and the situation rapidly escalated. The recording device was not activated."
Winkler said Saturday that rain and snow had slowed the investigation.
"Because it's an outdoor crime scene where this took place, there's bullet casings and trajectories and things like that that they want to look at," Winkler said. "So trying to do that while the ground is starting to get wet and muddy while snow is falling ... it doesn't make it impossible to do this investigation."
Winkler said that the homeowner and suspected trespasser knew each other, but couldn't comment further.
Winkler did not disclose the name of the officer who fired, but described him as a "tenured supervisor." The officer was not injured and is on paid leave until the investigation concludes, Winkler said.
"We know the public still has questions related ot this incident, and once this investigation is completed the South Jordan Police Department will work with the district attorney's office on the release of information," Winkler said, adding that no further details will be released while the investigation continues.
Worthington's parents could not be reached for comment; a relative declined to speak immediately on the shooting.