Orem, UT - Officers' bodycam video captured the moment that Anton Oliver Preto Bay jumped out of a car, while pointing a gun at officers and pulling the trigger (video below.)
The gun turned out to be a BB gun, and the only thing that saved Bay's life was his close proximity to the officers.
"Honestly it's a matter of probably a foot why he wasn't shot," Lt. Craig Martinez said, according to Deseret News.
The incident happened the night of September 29 when two Orem police officers responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle. The officers located the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop.
While officers were questioning the occupants, the rear passenger, Anton Oliver Preto Bay, provided a false name to officers because he had outstanding warrants.
"When the officer confronted him about the false name, the defendant opened the door quickly and exited the vehicle. As the officer stepped back to avoid getting hit by the door, he heard a clicking sound and saw the defendant crouch and point a gun at another officer," Pat Reavy with Deseret News reports the charging documents state.
Bay jumped out of the car and pulled the trigger on his gun three times.
Still not realizing that Bay's gun was a BB gun, the officer closest to Bay decided that it would be faster to grab Bay's gun rather than draw his own weapon.
The officer grabbed the barrel of Bay's gun while his partner was ready to open fire on Bay.
"He saw the gun as it came up, and he drew his handgun and was about to shoot when the other officer closed the distance. So he didn't. And the only reason he didn't was because the other officer was so close to the suspect at the time," Lt. Martinez said.
The officers then took Bay to the ground while Bay kept telling officers that he would kill them.
"You can hear him saying, 'Just kill me,'" Lt. Martinez said. "This kid wanted us to shoot him, that's what it boiled down to. He had warrants. He didn't want to go to jail. He wanted us to shoot him."
Both officers are seasoned SWAT officers and one of them is a combat veteran.
Bay was arrested and has been charged with assault against a peace officer, giving a false ID to an officer, marijuana possession, and unlawful alcohol possession.
Orem PD posted the following message with the video:
There are a few points that we are hoping everyone can take from this video:
See how fast things can happen and we are left playing "catch up".
This gun ended up being a BB gun but we didn't know that until after the officer grabbed it out of the suspects hands
It looked and sounded like a real gun.
Cpl. Vance was too close and his natural reaction was to reach out and take the gun from him.
Had he been a bit further away, this may have ended differently because what you can't see from this angle is that Officer Sillitoe had seen the gun at the last second and drew his handgun but decided not to shoot because Cpl. Vance had gotten too close to the suspect to take him down.
This situation is NOT being used to critique any other incident that happened somewhere else. The circumstances here are not the same, none of them are.
Every use of force situation is different and can't be compared to each other.
Our officers did everything right......ie. good officer safety positions, good calm demeanor with the occupants, smart tactical sense etc. These are seasoned officers with both SWAT experience and one with combat experience in the military.
Sometimes when people want to do bad things, we can't prevent it, we can only try to minimize the damage.
The officers are glad that both themselves and the suspect ended up being unharmed.*
You can see the video of the incident below: