Utah police in Tooele County responded to a 911 call early Sunday about an injured foot, made on his behalf by the wife of U.S. Army Sgt. Nicholas McGehee, a Purple Heart-earning veteran of two tours in Iraq reported to have been working as a military recruiter.
The medical call ended with a deputy shooting and killing McGehee after he allegedly pointed a handgun at the police and refused to put it down when asked.
Police say that when they arrived McGehee was holding a shotgun and involved in some altercation with his wife; the wife left the house before McGehee allegedly came out, now holding a handgun he refused to drop. So a deputy shot and killed him.
McGehee's father told the Salt Lake Tribune his son suffered post traumatic stress disorder after his Iraq service.
While at least one officer had a body camera installed, it was not turned on—because that's standard procedure for a medical call, police say. So, while various neighbors and relatives say they can't imagine how or why McGehee would behave the way the police describe, the police's word is so far all we have about what really happened.
Curiously, none of the three local news accounts I read—from Salt Lake Tribune, local TV and radio station KSL, and Good4Utah.com—mention either talking to the wife or mention her refusing to talk to them. (Only one of them, the Tribune, even names her: Kat.)
Body cameras have become a hot topic with recent Ferguson and other high profile police killings that drew national outrage. Counties across the country are trying out body cameras as a solution to this problem, but cases like McGehee's raise new questions.
Who should write body camera policies? Should they be uniform? What are the penalties for failing to comply?
[Jared] Garcia [a lieutenant investigating the case] said only a few agencies are using body cameras in Utah. Those that use them are in test stages and still forming their polices. Garcia said McGehee's death will add to the conversation as Utah departments form their policies.
The deputy who killed McGehee is currently on paid administrative leave.