Law enforcement officers interact with the general public daily. As two Salt Lake City Deputies found out, you never know how that interaction will turn out, especially when the situation initially seems to be pretty harmless.
While on patrol outside the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office and Unified Police Department Headquarters, which is also the Salt Lake County Metro Jail site, two deputies found a man sitting on the lawn by the north parking lot.
As the officers walked up to him, the man pulled out his weapon and began shooting the officers. The shooting occurred just before 10:30 am.
The two deputies were both shot in the face and transported to a nearby hospital.
According to Fox13, one of the deputies was hit in the cheek and is currently stable.
According to Sheriff Rosie Rivera, he has "quite a bit of damage." However, he should be released from the hospital within a couple of days.
The second deputy was hit in the eye. He is stable but in critical condition. He is slated for surgery, and a lengthier hospital stay. However, officials say that they expect him to pull through.
"They have a long time to heal... it's a struggle. I ask the community to join me in keeping these deputies in our thoughts and prayers."Sheriff Rosie Rivera
The deputies names have not been released yet, pending notification of their families.
No other officers were involved in the shooting, and investigators are working to determine the motive behind the shooting.
Rivera said the whole thing happened quickly, and one of the deputies fired back at the suspect hitting, and subsequently killing him. Investigators are still working to identify the suspect.
The department is taking the incident hard and working with a "Peer Support Team."
Rivera said, "These types of incidents are really devastating for the department. The environment for law enforcement right now is extremely dangerous, and we know that."
Looking for Answers
Being in law enforcement is a difficult job. Officers now have to worry about getting ambushed or shot at simply attempting to speak with members of the public.
While it has always been a possibility, more and more people are pulling guns on officers than in the past. Hopefully, investigators will find out more details about what happened in this situation and get everyone much-needed answers.