Use of Force in Parowan shooting determined ‘unjustified’

By Kelsey Keener

The Iron County Attorney’s Office has reached a determination of “unjustified” regarding the use of force in an officer-involved shooting in Parowan.

On June 28, Parowan Police Sgt. Mike Berg responded to a call about multiple suspects breaking into vehicles at the TA truck stop in Parowan. Shortly after he arrived, he held one suspect at gunpoint while waiting for backup. Enoch Police Corp. Jeremy Dunn arrived to assist Sgt. Berg.

A female suspect was holding a screwdriver and had reportedly taken a few swipes toward Sgt. Berg, who was able to hold her off while he waited for assistance. When Corp. Dunn arrived, he instructed the suspect to put the screwdriver down. The suspect was reportedly defiant and combative. Corp. Dunn deployed his taser on the suspect twice, on central body mass and on her upper leg, but the suspect was reportedly unaffected.

The suspect allegedly pulled the taser probes off of her pant leg, pulled the screwdriver to her chest and addressed the officers. Corp. Dunn then reportedly fired three shots, and hit the suspect twice in the right knee.

Details of the incident were reviewed by the county attorney’s office via Corp. Dunn’s body camera video and audio recording, as well as interviews with both officers involved.

It was determined that this use of force was unjustified. The Iron County Attorney’s report states: “While the suspect was armed with a screwdriver and had been non-compliant by failing to follow officer’s commands, including multiple commands to drop the screwdriver, it cannot objectively be stated that the officers or anyone else were in danger of death or serious bodily injury at the exact moment that lethal force was used.”

Corp. Dunn will not be charged criminally because “the State would not be able to prove the requisite criminal intent for a criminal charge,” according to the report.

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