Nicholas McGehee: Purple Heart Recipient Killed By Police After 911 Call For Medical Emergency

Nicholas McGehee was a Purple Heart recipient who did two tours of duty in Iraq, but the U.S. Army sergeant instead met a violent end in his own home in Utah after police responded to a call that he had cut himself on broken glass and ended up shooting the man dead.

Investigators are still trying to figure out exactly what happened in the incident. It started when police in Tansbury Park were called to a report that a man had cut his foot on broken glass and was bleeding profusely.

“The information we had is that a gentleman had cut himself rather severely,” said Sheriff Frank Park of Tooele County.

Two officers responded to the call at roughly 4 a.m. on Sunday and saw a man holding a gun through a window. The officers evacuated a woman who was in the home, but when the man stepped onto the porch they opened fire.

Park said that Nicholas McGehee may have initiated the shooting by provoking officers.

“The deputy told him two or three times to put the gun down, the gentleman pointed the gun at the deputy, and at that time, the deputy turned fire, shooting the individual,” Park said.

The 28-year-old McGehee was declared dead at the scene.

Family members said they can’t understand why Nicholas would have pulled a gun on the officer.

“I had never seen him pull a gun on anyone. I don’t know what the deal was,” said Nicholas’ father, Russell McGehee. “I don’t know why he would have done that.”

Russell added that he’s had a difficult time processing the news.

“I still don’t know how to take it,” he said. “I’m sad one minute, I’m mad one minute … I can hardly breathe one minute.”

Nicholas had plans to become a nurse, his father said.

“He loved life. He loved his wife,” said Russell McGehee. “… He had a lot of plans. It’s so difficult to look at a person who has all these plans [and see that end].”

The officer who shot and killed Nicholas McGehee was wearing a body camera, but did not turn it on because he believed he was responding to a medical call. Officers leave cameras off during medical calls due to health privacy laws.