Video: Utah cops remove cuffs, man grabs knife in fatal OIS

The footage from the Wednesday shooting shows how quickly a relatively calm arrest can turn violent

By Police1 Staff

DRAPER, Utah — Body cam video has been released of the fatal shooting of a suspect who fled from officers and armed himself with a knife as police were attempting to switch a pair of handcuffs.

The footage from the Wednesday shooting shows how quickly a relatively calm arrest can turn violent.

According to KSL, West Valley police Officer Jason Vincent was on his way to work when he spotted 34-year-old Jeffery Nielson slumped over the steering wheel of a parked vehicle.

Officer Vincent was in the city of Draper at the time of the incident, and called for backup from local police. A West Valley officer on the way home from work also stopped at the scene.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Nielson was placed into handcuffs after officers found unspecified items in his vehicle that gave them probable cause for an arrest.

After officers cuffed Nielson, the suspect informed them that he had a knife in his glove box. The weapon was not removed, as Nielson was already cuffed.

Police found heroin on the suspect during a search. Because the West Valley Police Department was to handle the case, officers removed a Draper officer’s cuffs from Nielson in order to place him in a West Valley officer’s handcuffs.

The incident quickly turned violent after the handcuffs were removed. Nielson rushed to his vehicle and grabbed an 8-inch blade from the glove box. West Valley Sgt. Margo Lund deployed a TASER to no effect, and another officer opened fire.

Nielson was shot five times and was pronounced dead a short time later, according to the report. 38 seconds passed between the time Nielson ran to the vehicle and an officer opened fire.

"Things will change in an instant," Draper Police Chief Bryan Roberts told KSL. “Without notice, an officer can be confronted with a violent circumstance and be involved in a fight for their life."

Police are investigating the shooting. 

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