Two Salt Lake County Deputies Shot While Patrolling Perimeter of Jail Building

Two Utah deputies were shot while patrolling the perimeter of the Salt Lake County metro jail on Saturday. The suspect was killed at the scene after one of the officers was able to return fire. One deputy lost an eye after being shot, the other was shot in the cheek and was treated and released.

Screenshot via KUTV

The shooting occurred north of the Sheriff’s office at about 10:30 a.m. on Saturday. The two deputies were conducting a routine check of the property and were shot during an exchange of gunfire with Johnson, who pulled out a gun when the deputies stopped to talk to him. Rivera reported on Saturday that at least one deputy returned fire.


Witnesses stated they heard four gunshots. Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera did not know for certain yet exactly what caused the officers to stop to talk to the suspect.

This individual may have been on the grass. We don’t know if he was asleep or not, but something occurred to get their attention to go talk with him. And then it happened very quickly where there was an encounter and shots were fired.

Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera

One of the deputies shot was Salt Lake County sheriff’s deputy Joshua Buerke, who was shot in the cheek, treated and released on Saturday. The other, Deputy Leland Grossett, was shot in the eye. Though he is now in stable condition, he did lose his eye.

The suspect was identified as Joshua Michael Johnson, 31. Police believe he was a homeless individual, judging from the amount of belongings that he had with him. Johnson had a long criminal record, according to KSL: “multiple felony and misdemeanor offenses, including drug possession, theft, lying to police and unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon.”

The fatal flaw in gun control

Herein lies the problem with rigid gun control – there is no reason Johnson should have been in possession of a gun, since he had “multiple felony” offenses, including “unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon.” Criminals do not obey the law, and usually steal their guns, or purchase them on the street apart from any “backround check.” So the only ones who end up affected by federal gun laws are the ordinary citizens who want to defend themselves from people like Johnson. No gun law would have stopped this situation – the officer who returned fire stopped it.


Featured photo: Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera

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