An 18-year veteran Utah police officer has become the very first cop killed in the line of duty for 2016 after a car crash turned into a deadly shootout. There were two Unified police officers shot during that altercation and the suspect was also reportedly killed early Sunday morning in a Holladay neighborhood.
The deadly altercation occurred when at approximately 9:50 a.m. Sunday when the officers were called to respond to a car accident near 2300 E. and 4500 South. According to witnesses of the crash, a male and a female got out of the vehicle and simply started walking away from the scene of the accident. Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder gave an emotional statement that revealed that the officer who was killed, Doug Barney, had spotted the man some distance from the crash and attempted to approach to suspect.
“It appears that an individual fired what appears to be a single round at officer Barney, striking him in the head.”
According to witness reports from KSL, the one round that was fired at Officer Barney’s head did not immediately kill him and other officers attempted to keep him alert and active while they waited on the arrival of the medics.
“They were trying to keep the officer alert who had been shot. They were talking to him by name, and they were just saying, ‘Keep breathing, stay with us.'”
The veteran police officer was taken to a nearby hospital but was unfortunately later pronounced dead. Another witness recalled that the Holladay cul-de-sac filled with officers very quickly and while some had remained with Barney, others had immediately gone in pursuit of the suspect.
— Matthew Michela (@Video_Matt) January 17, 2016
Only minutes after the suspect in the accident had shot officer Barney, he was once again spotted by police a little after 10 a.m. and an exchange of gunfire ensued. Winder also advised that that encounter was when a second officer was wounded by the gunman as he shot police officer John Richie a total of three times, twice in the legs and once in the torso. The suspect, Cory Lee Henderson, was also shot and killed, he was pronounced dead at the scene. Officer Richie’s last update came late Sunday afternoon where he was reported to be improving after he emerged from surgery.
The woman who was reported to be travelling with the gunman was listed by the police as a person of interest but was not apprehended this morning as though they searched the Holladay neighborhoods they were unsuccessful. It was not until approximately 6 p.m. this evening that she was finally reported to be in custody. The Salt Lake City Police Department will be leading the investigation into the shootings.
— Jeremy Harris (@jeremykharris) January 17, 2016
Cory Lee Henderson was reported by the New York Daily as having a long criminal history that showed he had a propensity for possession of firearms and was also wanted on state and federal warrants. Henderson was also the focus of a manhunt by the gang task force. The scene of Officer Barney’s death also saw another altercation later in the day courtesy of Henderson’s family members. A man and woman came to the crime scene some time after the shooting, and claimed to be the gunman’s brother and mother. The two had to be arrested for being uncooperative and the alleged sibling had to be tasered by the police. Several warrants had been out for their arrest.
Officer Doug Barney, was a father of three children who had survived two battles with cancer.
[Photo Courtesy of David McNew/Getty Images]