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Prosecutors on Friday found that a West Valley City police officer was justified in shooting and wounding a man who appeared about to fire at the officer during a confrontation in March.

Ricardo Jose Lopez was shot on March 1, after police officers arrived at his home on reports of a fight that had been preceded by gunfire.

West Valley City Detective Jason Vincent told investigators he saw Lopez come up the stairs from a basement area carrying a handgun, according to an investigation by the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office.

Vincent ordered Lopez to drop the handgun, but Lopez instead turned toward Vincent and raised the arm holding the weapon.

The officer fired two rounds, and Lopez — hit by a single bullet — fell to the ground and was arrested.

Vincent later told investigators: "I need to shoot or I'm going to be shot."

Lopez, 26, was subsequently charged in federal court with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The U.S. District Court complaint says Lopez — a documented gang member — went to prison in 2008 for third-degree felony convictions of attempting to receive/transfer a stolen vehicle and failure to stop at command of police, the court document states.