- Associated Press - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (AP) - A veteran South Jordan police officer was justified last month when he shot and killed an armed trespassing suspect who first fired at him, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said.

Sgt. Larimie Lancaster reasonably concluded that his life was in danger after 26-year-old Ty Worthington shot at him during a confrontation in a horse corral Nov. 22.

Worthington fired two shots from a .22 caliber revolver. Lancaster returned fire 13 times with his .40 caliber weapon, striking Worthington three times, investigators said.

Gill said in a letter to South Jordan Police Chief Lindsay Shepherd late Monday that Worthington’s mother had notified police just before the confrontation that he was “high on drugs” and dangerous. He first pointed the gun at Lancaster after refusing the officer’s demands that he show his hands.

“Sgt. Lancaster faced a situation in which he reasonably believed his life was in danger when Ty pointed a gun in his direction and when Ty fired it,” Gill said.

Court records show Worthington had a troubled history of mostly drug- and alcohol-related charges and convictions over the past several years. He was released from the Salt Lake County Jail just four days before his confrontation with South Jordan police so he could attend a drug treatment facility.

Lancaster, a 17-year police veteran who has spent the bulk of his career in South Jordan, was wearing a body camera at the time of the shooting but didn’t activate it.

South Jordan police Lt. Jason Knight told reporters at a news conference Monday night that the department is currently testing different models of cameras and does not yet have policies in place requiring officers to turn on the cameras.

Once the department selects a model of camera, they will be “fully integrated in daily operations and there will be an expectation of their use in warranted situations as outlined with the forthcoming policy,” Knight said.

It marks the second fatal officer-involved shooting in Utah this year where an officer was wearing a body camera but didn’t use it. Saratoga Springs police confirmed last month that one of the two officers who confronted Darrien Hunt, 22, before he was shot Sept. 10 did not turn on his body camera, and it may not have worked anyway.

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