A Stansbury Park man was killed in a deputy-involved shooting early Sunday morning.
Tooele County Sheriff Frank Park said Tooele County Dispatch received a call for a medical emergency at 4:05 a.m. A deputy from the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office and a trooper from the Utah Highway Patrol arrived at the address, on the corner of Merion Drive and Aberdeen Lane, before the responding ambulance.
The sheriff said the officers soon found the situation was more than a routine medical call.
“When they arrived at the scene, they could tell there was a lot more going on inside the house,” he said.
The couple inside had evidently been having a domestic dispute, Park said, and the officers reported they saw a man with a shotgun through the window. When a woman came out the home’s front door, the deputy helped her to his vehicle for safety.
Soon after that, Park said a man, 28-year-old Nicholas McGehee, also came out the home’s front door and pointed a handgun at the deputy.
“[The deputy] protected himself at that point in time,” Park said.
The deputy fired three shots at McGhee, killing him, Park said. McGehee did not fire at the deputy, and neither the deputy or the woman were injured, he said.
Park said McGhee and the woman were married. Deputies had not been called to that home before for domestic incidents, he said. He also noted the medical call was genuine, as McGhee evidently had cuts to his foot and possibly a knee.
The deputy was placed on administrative leave Sunday pending an investigation by the Utah Bureau of Investigations. Park said the state agency was handling the investigation to give an unbiased examination.
Park said the deputy has been with the sheriff’s office for more than five years and worked with the Tooele City Police Department for several years before that. The officer has more than a decade of law enforcement experience in Tooele County.
“He’s a very experienced officer,” Park said.
McGhee was a staff sergeant with the U.S. Army, and reportedly worked as a recruiter for that military branch. In August 2011, Craig Ferguson, a late-night talk show host, tweeted a picture of McGehee, captioned “Sgt. Nicholas McGehee. US Army. Vet of 2 tours in Iraq and my seat buddy on the flight to London. Sgt. McGehee. US Army. Purple Heart recipient.”
According to a news article from October 2010, McGehee was given the award, along with two other soldiers, at a ceremony in Iraq on Oct. 7 of that year. According to the article, McGehee received the honor after being injured when an improvised explosive device hit his convoy.
This is the first officer-involved shooting fatality since a Grantsville officer killed 37-year-old Travis Davis, a reportedly suicidal man who was pointing a handgun at officers during a long standoff in September 2013.
An investigation by the Tooele City Police Department found the officer’s actions justified.