2 officers who fatally shot Utah man in Provo will not be charged, prosecutors say

Two officers who shot and killed a man in Provo in 2021 after the man pointed a gun at a third officer will face no criminal charges, the Utah County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

The officers who opened fire were identified by the county attorney’s office on Wednesday as Chris Peterson of the Pleasant Grove Police Department and Justin Mortensen of the Utah County Sheriff’s Department.

Before Peterson and Mortensen shot dead Paul Rasmussen, 48, on August 24, members of the Major Crimes Task Force were tracking him on suspicion of distributing narcotics, according to Tuesday’s news release.

After driving south on Interstate 15, Rasmussen stopped at Center Street in Orem and headed west toward Geneva Road, a spokesperson for the county attorney’s office said. ‘Utah. When an officer pulled over at Rasmussen, he lit a red left-turn arrow and accelerated, the spokesman said.

Police chased Rasmussen almost to University Parkway, the spokesperson said, but officers called off the chase because Rasmussen was “driving dangerously.”

Later that day, police found Rasmussen at his home near 900 West and 300 North in Provo. Outside the house, an officer confronted Rasmussen, who then pointed a gun at the officer, the statement said.

As the officer took cover behind a vehicle, Peterson and Mortensen then fired “several rounds” at Rasmussen.

The 48-year-old was punched multiple times and later died in hospital. The statement said he died of a gunshot wound.

According to the county attorney’s office, police found a gun near Rasmussen as well as in his clothing.

This shooting marked the 19th police shooting in Utah in 2021.

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